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Sentencing of Justin Walker, Sr.

District Attorney

     Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney announced that Justin Walker, Sr., 36, was sentenced on Friday, July 23, 2021 after a jury convicted him in May of three felony charges. After about six hours of deliberation, the jury convicted Walker of Attempted Assault in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree.
     Acting County Court Judge Mark Caruso sentenced Walker to the maximum sentence allowable under the law following a two-hour sentencing hearing. Walker received a fifteen-year sentence on the top count of Attempted Assault in the First Degree. The judge rendered his decision after listening to the victim speak at sentencing. The woman explained that she suffers night terrors, daily anxiety attacks, and “extreme difficulty in accepting that her face will never look the same” because Walker made the premeditated decision to slice her throat and neck. She implored, “Do not minimize the danger that this man is to society.” She then asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence to protect the community as “it’s not a matter of if he will do this again, it’s only a matter of when.”  Walker addressed the Court at sentencing after he had his attorney read his letter to the Court. He said early childhood family dysfunction caused him difficulty and that he was struggling to survive and attain higher education goals.
     Upon delivering his sentence, Judge Caruso noted, “You speak well, you write well, I only wish you acted well.” The judge then went on to explain that Walker did everything possible to cover up his revenge attack on the victim but “failed miserably.” Caruso also commended the “sleuthing” of Funeral Home co-owner, Doreen Ditoro, as her review of her business’ video cameras largely solved this case. The footage exposed Walker changing his clothes and disguising his face and hair before attacking the victim. Judge Caruso agreed with the assessment that Walker is a danger to the community.
     The trial revealed that on October 13, 2019, Walker used a boxcutter to slash the face and neck of a woman whom he claimed sold him fake drugs a few days earlier. Walker approached the woman at the Union Inn bar and asked for his money back. When she declined, Walker left the bar and went to his car which was parked around the corner. While standing at the trunk of his car, Walker changed out of his clothing and sneakers, and donned a ski mask. He then jumped a fence to re-enter the Union Inn bar. Walker waited until the woman entered the outdoor back patio to attack her. He attacked her from behind and pulled her head back, slicing her with a box cutter through her mouth, face, and on the neck. Walker then jumped the fence again to get out of the bar’s back patio. Extensive video footage from local businesses exposed Walker’s path of travel and documented his attempts to disguise himself. Walker then returned to the scene after changing his clothing again to watch the woman get into the ambulance.
     Walker’s sentence must run consecutively to his undischarged time on parole. Walker has a prior 2008 conviction in Albany for Robbery in the First Degree where he received a twelve-and-a half year sentence for robbing a convenience store clerk with a loaded shotgun.
     Schenectady County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Lorusso prosecuted the case. The Schenectady County Conflict Defender Tracey Chance represented Walker at trial.