Pierce County WA March 4 2017 Almost eight years after armored-car guard Kurt Husted was shot and killed, his family thinks they might have seen the man who orchestrated his murder for the last time.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge John Hickman sentenced Odies Walker, 49, on Thursday to life in prison without parole for the fatal robbery in 2009 at the Lakewood Walmart.
“Hopefully, we can put the thing to rest forever,” Ron Husted, the victim’s father, said afterward.
It was the second time Walker had gotten the sentence for Husted’s death. The Washington Supreme Court overturned his first conviction in 2015, because of inflammatory slides in the prosecution’s closing argument.
Last month, a second jury convicted Walker of the same charges — aggravated first-degree murder and other crimes.
Husted’s sister spoke at the first sentencing in 2011, and again Thursday.
“This creature does not deserve to live,” Kirsten Husted Olin told the court about Walker. “He is a waste of space and oxygen. … Life in prison will have to do.”
Her brother, she said, was a mentor and hero to her two sons. She said the younger, at 26, looks very much like his uncle and sometimes she is still startled by the resemblance.
“My heart stops,” she said.
The day of the shooting she was supposed to hear from her brother, she told the court, because it was her birthday.
“Now that day is always the day that my brother was murdered,” she said.
Walker’s cousin, Calvin Finley, confessed to shooting Husted in the head as the 38-year-old Loomis armored-car guard was making a pickup at Walmart.
Finley and an accomplice took the money bag, and Walker was waiting outside in a getaway car.
Deputy Prosecutors Angelica Williams and Dawn Farina argued that Walker organized the heist and planned for Husted to die. He was on the phone with Finley during the robbery, they said, and shouted for him to shoot Husted.
After the robbery, Walker went shopping at a Walmart in Federal Way and took his family out to dinner, the prosecutors told jurors during the trial.
Walker didn’t speak at his sentencing.
Defense attorney Byran Hershman told the court his client “grew up in a very bad part of Chicago” and that three of his five siblings have died.
“He is a two-legged contradiction in many respects,” Hershman said of Walker, who he said had been polite in their interactions and very involved in raising his children. The attorney described the kids as well-mannered and successful in school.
Hershman also said Walker was remorseful for Husted’s death, and when surveillance footage of the shooting played at trial, he turned away and told his attorney: “I can’t watch this anymore.”
Husted’s family didn’t buy talk of remorse. They believe Walker is evil and cared only about the money, they said.
“We just don’t ever want to see him again,” Husted Olin said outside court.
Judge Hickman told the family he thought the best retribution would be for Husted’s loved ones to “live your life to the fullest.”
“You’ve had to go through this two times,” he said.
Starting to move on would honor Husted, the judge told them.
And they said they have.