Baltimore County Sheriff’s Department investigators received about 10 questions before Kerai Walker asked for an attorney.
Police had just arrested him along with two teens after chasing after the trio, who were driving stolen cars. Investigators suspected they committed a series of armed robberies and car thefts across the city and county line on the morning of November 14, 2019. They didn’t know about a double murder in southwest Baltimore during the crime spree, or one of their questions would reveal Walker as one of the shooters.
Investigators asked if the gun they confiscated from him was a handgun.
Walker replied, “Yes.”
Has anyone else caught this gun since midnight? asked the investigators.
“Nah,” Walker said.
In town three years later, the prosecution’s case against him hinged largely on his admission. The Baltimore Police Firearms Examiner testified that a Taurus pistol recovered from Walker fired 9mm shell casings retrieved from the 1900 Building on McHenry Street, where 22-year-old Irana James and 21-year-old Courtney Richardson were shot and about 2:30 a.m. the same day.
A jury found Walker guilty Tuesday of two counts each of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, along with conspiracy to commit auto theft, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Jurors have been debating the 28 charges since Friday afternoon; They were convicted on 16 counts.
Walker faces decades in prison upon sentencing, the date of which has yet to be set. His defense attorney declined to comment after the ruling.
The trial of defendant Malik Brooks, 22, began this week and 19-year-old Devon Bynum is expected to follow.
Tuesday’s verdict marked Walker’s second conviction for the brazen events that occurred that morning. A Baltimore County jury found him guilty on dozens of counts last August, and a judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison. The result was appealed in the province.
In district court, Brooks pleaded guilty to armed robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a violent felony. He got 15 years in prison.
It’s unclear what caused Bynum’s accusations in the county. He was 16 when he accompanied Brooks Walker, and juvenile court records are not public in Maryland. Except for the murder charges, all of Bynum’s charges in Baltimore have been waived to juvenile court. His lawyer said earlier this week that he remains innocent.
Between the city and the county, police and young prosecutors were implicated in two car thefts, five armed robberies, and two murders. They said it all happened roughly between 1 and 5 a.m. on a cold November morning.
To convince the jury that the three conspired to commit various crimes, prosecutors called on several victims from the city and county to testify about what happened to them. Four men testified about being robbed at gunpoint. No one can identify their abusers or provide anything more than a vague description.
“Dark clothes. mask. A restaurateur in South Baltimore told the jury.
For the plaintiffs’ case, the most consequential robbery was the first in the morning.
Justin Johnson testified that three people wearing masks took his gray Honda Civic around 1:30 a.m. He said that one of the attackers pointed a gun at him. Before long, his automatic sunroof screamed out from the Hollins market district—about three blocks from the Brooks residence, a detective later testified.
A vehicle resembling Johnson’s was filmed in the surveillance footage approaching a corner in Carrollton Ridge about an hour later. He stopped on Wilhelm Street, at the entrance to Goldsmith Alley.
Video taken by CitiWatch and business cameras in the area showed three people leaving the car and entering the alley. They appeared on the side of McHenry Street, and the two of them seemed to extend their arms, as if they were pointing guns. A group of people gathered near a tattoo parlor scattered. Two people fell to the ground. Minutes later, three people got into a Honda parked on the other side of the alley.
Officers found James and Richardson on the sidewalk. Paramedics pronounced James dead, while Richardson later died at the University of Maryland Trauma Center.
Police found 10 shell casings or bullet fragments from the sidewalk, alley and street. The ammunition was taken to the city’s weapons laboratory for analysis.
Before a firearms examiner, Christopher Faber, looked at the evidence under a microscope, another examiner fed close-up photos of the casings into the Integrated Ballistic Identification System, a law enforcement database that compares fired ammunition collected as evidence from certain areas.
The system was alerted to bullets December 5: A handgun was found in Baltimore County, Faber said. Baltimore homicide detective Kimberly Tonch testified that she asked Faber to “confirm” a potential match, and after examining Baltimore’s spent casings, Faber set out to a ballistics lab in Baltimore County.
Breaking news alerts
as it happens
Stay on top of breaking news as it happens and be notified of other content you don’t miss with our free news alerts.
Faber testified that he and other firearms examiners test-fired the Taurus pistol recovered from Walker and compared the casings from the test fire to those found at the scene of the double kill.
Assistant Attorney General Matt Bellion showed side-by-side photos included in Faber’s report to the jury. The two pictures looked like one with a cover of the scene on one side and the test fire on the other.
Faber told the jury about the basis of his profession — that microscopic defects created during manufacture mean that each weapon engraves casings with unique markings, almost like a person’s fingerprints — and his finding in this case. He said another city and county examiner agreed with his conclusion.
“Streaks or slits are constantly flowing from one cartridge case to the other,” Faber testified, describing the photo. “The fired cartridge cases, the 9mm Luger cartridge cases, were fired by a Taurus firearm.”
Defense attorney Kathryn Flynn challenged the forensic analysis process during her closing arguments, saying it amounted to police support for the police. She also said that her client was likely covering someone when he claimed the gun and noted that no one had ever identified him as a participant in any alleged crime.
Back in the police interview room in 2019, before he fell asleep in his chair, her client denied stealing anything. Walker told police investigators he was guilty of only one crime.
He told them, “The only thing I did was have a gun.”