Defendant Vernon Walton was sentenced to 16 years in prison by Criminal Court Judge Bobby Carter after entering his plea just before a jury was to be picked for his trial Monday. He must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before release.
The incident occurred the night of Sept. 19, 2013, when the victim was driving to Halle Stadium on Mt. Moriah to meet her sister who was attending a candlelight vigil for a Ridgeway High School student who had died.
Investigators said Walton, 33, followed her onto the parking lot, walked up to her car and began shooting her through the driver’s side window. As the woman tried to crawl out of the vehicle, Walton walked around to the passenger side and shot her several more times. Walton then fled on foot, but was chased down by police and security officers who recovered a .45-cal. handgun from him.
The woman, who had filed for an order of protection against Walton that day, had 14 entrance and exit wounds from her face to her thighs, but survived her injuries. She spent a month in the hospital, continues to receive treatment and still has two bullets in her body. She is now 27.
The case was handled by Chief Prosecutor Theresa McCusker and Asst. Dist. Atty. Meghan Fowler, both of the DA’s Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit which handles felony cases of domestic assault and homicide committed by intimate partners.
The DVPU works closely with the Shelby County Family Safety Center to provide services and assistance to domestic violence victims and their families.