The Richmond Register

July 17, 2008

Grand jury to hear football player’s case

By Ronica Shannon

The bond for a suspended Eastern Kentucky University football player was lowered Wednesday from $200,000 to $20,000 cash or property, and his criminal case was handed up to a Madison County grand jury.

Davin Walker, 22, was arrested July 3 on robbery and fleeing and evading charges after an incident at the Richmond Wal-Mart.

“A physical altercation ensued, and a shopping cart overturned, tearing the tip off of a 69-year-old female customer’s thumb,” said Sgt. Willard Reardon, public information officer for the Richmond Police Department.

However, the woman’s thumb tip was not completely severed, said arresting officer Cpl. Jake Adkins of the Richmond Police Department, who testified Wednesday in Walker’s preliminary hearing in Madison District Court.

She has since received stitches and is recovering, he said.

“The lady told me that she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Adkins said. “She was walking into the store with a buggy (when the altercation occurred).”

Adkins testified that Walker was found on store surveillance tapes to be putting items into a backpack. He was confronted by two Wal-Mart employees, one a manager and the other a representative of loss prevention.

It appeared on the video that Walker lunged straight toward one of the men knocking him down, and then fleeing the scene, Adkins said.

Walker lost his shoes and backpack during his run, he said.

The backpack contained a cell phone battery charger, a box of douches and a bottle of feminine hygiene spray, Adkins said.

Walker was arrested by Richmond Police near Roy Kidd Stadium shortly before 2 p.m.

“What otherwise would have been a theft charge was elevated to first-degree robbery by the physical altercation,” Reardon said.

Michael Eubanks, Walker’s defense attorney, disagreed in court Wednesday.

“In this case, we have a theft,” he said. “At the time of (the physical confrontation with the woman), the shoplifting already had occurred. What we have is shoplifting and an assault.”

Eubanks said Walker did not have a weapon, therefore it should not be considered first-degree robbery.

“There’s no evidence that Mr. Walker was trying to cause her any harm,” Eubanks said. “He didn’t say: ‘I’m going to hurt you if you don’t give me the battery charger.’”

County Attorney Marc Robbins stressed that someone who was not involved in the incident was hurt, and that justifies the first-degree robbery charge.

In the 2008 Criminal Law of Kentucky handbook, first-degree robbery is defined as: “... in the course of committing theft, he uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person with intent to accomplish the theft and when he: (a) causes physical injury to any person who is not a participant in the crime; or (b) is armed with a deadly weapon; or (c) uses or threatens the immediate use of a dangerous instrument upon any person who is not a participant in the crime.”

Walker was a senior wide receiver from Miami, Fla. University spokesman Marc Whitt said Walker had been enrolled as a student for the spring 2008 semester.

Walker was suspended indefinitely Monday, July 7, by the EKU Department of Athletics.

He played in 11 games last season as a running back, receiver and kick returner. The 5-foot-10, 162-pound player was a Second-Team All-OVC selection in 2006 as a returner, and ranked 11th in the nation for kick return average.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 623-1669, Ext. 234.