Witness who saw gunman testifies in VSP Trooper Walker murder trial

Witness who saw gunman testifies in VSP Trooper Walker murder trial
Russell E. Brown III (Courtesy: Meherrin River Regional Jail)
Russell E. Brown III (Courtesy: Meherrin River Regional Jail)

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) - Flags outside the Dinwiddie Courthouse were at half-staff  on Tuesday in honor of the recent officer shootings. Inside, the case against the man accused of killing a Virginia State Trooper moved forward.

Prosecutors and the defense gave opening statements on Tuesday after six days of jury selection, screening nearly 200 potential jurors. Council selected 12 jurors and four alternates in the case of Russell Brown, who is accused of killing Master Trooper Junius Walker in March 2013.

Walker was killed when he stopped to help a disabled motorist on interstate 85 in Dinwiddie County. Russell Brown is accused of capital murder. The defense is arguing that Brown was insane at the time of the incident.

Seven witnesses testified on Tuesday. The eight men and eight women on the jury heard from Junius Walker's wife, Elizabeth. She testified she and her husband were married for 32 years and had two beautiful daughters together.

On the stand, she said the family wasn't able to see Walker's body until a day after he was killed.

Also on the stand, a man who drove up on the scene right after it happened. Truck driver Thomas Hales didn't want to talk on camera, but testified he saw a police cruiser in the woods and another car slightly behind it. Fearing the worst, he pulled over and backed up.

He testified he found Trooper Walker slumped inside his vehicle with no obvious injuries. Hales says seconds later, a slim man holding a gun across his chest popped up from the passenger side of the police cruiser.

Hales says he got out of there and into his truck when he heard shots fired. Several hit the truck. One went through the passenger window and out the windshield before he was able to drive away and call 911.

The case will continue Wednesday morning at 9:30. The first trooper on the scene is scheduled to testify.

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