Bill gives harsher punishment for murder against law enforcement officers

Gov. Northam signed the bill Thursday

Bill gives harsher punishment for murder against law enforcement officers

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A milestone day for people who’ve lost loved ones killed in the line of duty.

Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill Thursday that will set harsher punishments for those found guilty of capital murder against law enforcement officers.

“We got to keep his legend alive,” Elizabeth Walker said.

It's that constant fight to keep her husbands memory alive that keeps Elizabeth Walker going.

“This has been a long journey. My husband was killed six years ago and that was a very traumatic experience,” Walker said.

The day in March 2013 forever changed Elizabeth’s life.

Master Trooper Junius Walker, 63, was shot and killed in Dinwiddie as his shift came to an end.

“In my husband’s case, he was stopping to help what he thought was a disabled vehicle and was shot four times for his efforts. He never had a chance to pull his weapon and every shot was lethal,” Walker said.

Different families, similar pain.

State Trooper Chad Dermeyer was killed after being shot during training at the Richmond Greyhound Bus station in 2016 and Special Agent Michael Walter was shot and killed in Mosby Court just one year later.

“Jaime Walter’s husband’s murderer only got 36 years sentence from the judge for her husband’s murder and we said this can’t happen,” Walker said.

That’s when these members of a sorority no wife wants to be in took action.

The three widows fought to have harsher laws, and Thursday Gov. Northam signed Senate Bill 1501 into law.

The three widows fought to have harsher laws, and Thursday Gov. Northam signed Senate Bill 1501 into law.
The three widows fought to have harsher laws, and Thursday Gov. Northam signed Senate Bill 1501 into law. (Source: NBC12)

The Bill demands that any person, 18 or older, who is convicted of capital murder of a law enforcement officer or public safety official must get a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than life in prison.

“This is a historic occasion and I’m so excited to be apart of it,” Walker said.

As Elizabeth went to meet Gov. Northam, she brought her husband Junius with her.

“He doesn’t go anywhere without me and I don’t go anywhere without him,” Walker said.

Not just in her heart, but around her neck as well.

“It is the thin blue line between good and evil. I’ve got an angel wing, he has the other one in heaven,” Walker said.

Also, a picture of her 6-foot-5, 200 pound husband who many called a “gentle giant.”

“We know there is law enforcement everyday holding that thin blue line between good and evil and we want to make sure that if something happens to them, they will get justice,” Walker said.

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