If Walker's not a monster, neither is he a Boy Scout. He had racked up an impressive criminal record even before he tried to visit his dying cousin. Indeed, before he reached 16 years old, he had been arrested on felony charges of burglary of a vehicle and grand larceny. And he had been nailed five times on felony-level cocaine sale and delivery charges. His rap sheet from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is four pages long.
The day in June when he drove to Daytona Beach, he didn't have a valid Florida driver's license. Dorothy Walker says that Jimmy sped off when police tried to pull him over in Volusia County for a traffic violation. When he was arrested, Walker fought off police. He was charged with aggravated assault with a weapon and fleeing a law enforcement officer at a high rate of speed.
Through her Belle Glade office, Dorothy Walker helped to bond Jimmy out of jail. As a favor to Jimmy and his mother, whom New Times could not locate, Dorothy Walker set up payment arrangements for the family. She says Jimmy didn't have the money because he couldn't find an employer who would hire him despite his lengthy rap sheet. When he missed a payment, he came by her office, apologized, and asked if there was anything he could do around the place. Dorothy Walker believes that implies something about Jimmy's character. "He was very concerned, very caring, open, and honest with me," she says. "He was always, 'yes, ma'am,' 'no, ma'am.' You could tell he had some good upbringing. He could have just run away, but he said, 'I'm not running. I owe you, and I'd like to do some work to pay off the money.' I didn't have work to do, but you find some for somebody like that."
On January 8, 2001, Jimmy Walker was supposed to arrive at Dorothy's office in the morning. She planned to drive him to Volusia County for a court appearance on his Daytona arrest. When he didn't show, Dorothy drove to Jimmy's Pompano Beach home. She knocked on the door, but Walker wouldn't let family members open it. Walker says Jimmy's mother told her he had been acting paranoid when he came home the night before. "Something had clicked," Dorothy Walker says. She went to her car to notify police. While she was on the telephone, Walker dashed out of the house, jumped into a black Nissan (which later proved to be stolen), and drove off.
Rick Crawford was in his driveway at SW Tenth Street in Margate with his car running when Walker drove up in the Nissan and pleaded for help. Walker pulled on the door handle, and when the door wouldn't open, he begged Crawford to let him into the house. Crawford dialed 911 on his cell phone. Walker hopped back into the Nissan and drove off.
Two blocks away, Terry Mullings also had his 1995 black Mazda 626 in the driveway with the engine running. Walker ran up to the car, opened the passenger door, and climbed inside. He told Mullings he was being chased by police. Mullings yelled at Walker to get out of his car. The two wrestled. And then Walker pulled a chrome handgun from his pocket, pointed it at Mullings' chest, and told him to get out of the car. Mullings did, and Walker drove off in the Mazda, leaving behind the Nissan with his wallet, his Florida identification card, and a woman's purse inside. He next drove to a Publix in North Lauderdale. There, he pulled a gun on Romana Troublefield as she was about to get back into her truck after using an ATM. "Give me the keys. Give me the truck or I will shoot you," Walker told her, according to a complaint affidavit filed after the incident. After Walker grabbed Troublefield's keys, she grabbed them back, and her key chain broke. Walker jumped back into the Mazda and sped away, but he dropped some photographs at the scene, duplicates of pictures that were inside the Nissan he had abandoned when he took Mullings' Mazda.
On December 10, 2001, several months after he had been captured, Walker was sentenced to two years in prison in the Volusia County case. He had been in jail on those charges since March 2001. In April of that same year, Broward County charged him with carjacking with a firearm, attempted carjacking, and grand theft in the third degree. He completed his sentence on the Volusia charges September 17, 2002. But by then, he had already been found guilty in the Broward case. "When we went to trial, he got hammered," Raticoff says. "The evidence against him was pretty overwhelming."