Man acquitted of killing gets maximum for witness tampering

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A man acquitted earlier this year in the 2016 shooting death of an Omaha teenager has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for witness tampering in the case.

A Douglas County judge on Tuesday sentenced Otis Walker, 25, to the maximum sentence for witness tampering, saying Walker’s efforts to keep a witness from testifying amounted to an “effort to sabotage and hijack the justice system,” the Omaha World-Herald reported.

In March, Walker was acquitted of first-degree murder and gun charges in the drive-by shooting death of 16-year-old Markeise Dunn. It was his second trial, after the first ended in a mistrial in 2019 when jurors couldn’t reach a verdict.

 

Prosecutors said that while Walker was in jail awaiting trial on the murder charge, he handed a note with the witness’s address on it to an inmate who was leaving the jail that said, “She doesn’t have to die. Just don’t show up.”

Prosecutors had also argued that it was Walker who pulled the trigger when a car pulled up beside Dunn, who was walking his girlfriend to a bus stop, and opened fire. But Walker’s defense attorneys argued that police had failed to thoroughly test items in a car suspected of being used in the killing found two miles from the shooting scene and that detectives had been looking at another suspect as recently as last year.

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