Appeals court backs Walker conviction

The Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday said it will not reconsider a ruling from May that upheld the 2009 jury trial conviction of former Grand Junction High School activities director Johnnie Walker.

Anne Amicarella, an attorney with the Colorado Public Defender Office’s appellate division, had argued in an eight-page petition that the Court of Appeals failed to consider that Walker never communicated any “real plans,” such as a specific time or place, for a sexual rendezvous with an underage girl.

The attorney argued evidence was insufficient for a conviction.

“These chats were clearly not the most significant steps that Walker could have taken in order to effectuate any “plan,” Amicarella wrote in the petition. “Defendant agrees the evidence must show that the defendant took a substantial step that was strongly corroborative of the firmness of his purpose to commit the charged acts.”

It wasn’t clear Thursday if an appeal is planned to the Colorado Supreme Court.

Walker, who resigned his position after his arrest in 2007, was sentenced to 10 years to life probation and registered as a sex offender after a Mesa County jury found him guilty of attempted Internet luring of a child and attempted child enticement.

Walker used an Internet chat room, in a series of chats, and communicated with “pink_polka_dotzzz,” which was a profile purporting to belong to a 14-year-old girl. The profile instead belonged to a Texas man who was posing online as a young girl.

The Internet chats lasted several weeks, while Walker at one point talked about driving to pick the girl up, blindfolding her and taking her to a cabin in the mountains.


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