More mental tests ordered for man charged in parents' killing
An Oklahoma County judge ordered further psychological exams for a 19-year-old man charged with killing his parents.
Eli Walker, of Edmond, appeared for a status review Friday morning before Judge Natalie Mai. He faces two counts of first-degree murder in the March 4 shooting of Michael Logan Walker, 50, and Rachael May Walker, 44.
Defense attorney Derek Chance has said Walker suffers from severe mental illness, and a preliminary psychological evaluation found him “acutely paranoid and delusional.”
Walker has received mental health treatment in the past. Police obtained 430 pages of his medical and treatment records from St. Anthony Hospital, 31 pages from Edmond Counseling and Professional Development, 46 pages from the NorthCare behavioral health center and 77 pages from Stanbro Healthcare Group, a mental health care center in Edmond.
Judge Mai found that enough reason exists to question Walker’s mental competency. By state law, he is required to undergo more testing with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services to determine whether he is mentally competent to continue in court proceedings.
Walker, whose full name is Michael Elijah Walker, will be sent to a state mental health facility in Vinita for further assessment. The court will have a hearing June 21 to review the findings.
“Hopefully by that time they will have evaluated the defendant and have made a determination or given us an opinion as to what they believe regarding his competency,” District Attorney David Prater said. “The determination of competency will be the only activity in the case until that is resolved.”
Walker said he shot his parents because “they were sending him messages telepathically and they were Satan worshippers,” police reported.
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Mai could decide in June whether Walker is competent enough for the case to move forward, Prater said. He would be considered mentally incompetent if he cannot understand what he is charged with and cannot rationally assist his attorney in his defense. Defendants are often housed in a mental health facility until they are competent enough to face prosecution.
Chance organized a preliminary assessment last month for Walker with psychologist Shawn Roberson, who has given opinions in several high-profile cases in Oklahoma. Chance told The Oklahoman the exam showed Walker is mentally ill, and “this, we believe, explains the horrible tragedy.”
Walker told Edmond police the shooting began in his bedroom when he got into an argument with his parents over Satanism, according to a court affidavit. He said he had a pistol sitting next to him on the bed, and his father grabbed him and said “give me the gun.”
Walker told detectives he started to shoot his father “anywhere I could hit him,” police said. His mother fled down the hallway toward the front door, shouting for her younger son, Isaiah, to call 911.
The defendant followed her down the hall where he believed she was trying to escape outside the house. He said he shot her in the back, went to reload his pistol and returned to shoot her again “because he believed she was still alive,” according to the affidavit.
Officers responded to Isaiah Walker’s 911 call, and the defendant surrendered without incident.
Walker said in a police interview that he “believed he did the right thing” by shooting his parents and would react the same way if he had to do it over again, detectives reported.
A search of this bedroom uncovered four homemade explosive devices, a hatchet, knives, a compound bow, a Glock semi-automatic pistol, an AR-15 rifle and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, according to a search warrant. Police also reported finding an inert grenade on a desk in another bedroom.
His aunt, Maya Walker, said in a statement that Michael and Rachael Walker were "two beautiful people."
"We hope and pray for the best possible outcome from this tragedy and for Eli to get the best care possible," Maya Walker said. "We hold tight to the legacy of love that Michael and Rachael left behind and hope to honor their memory all the days of our lives."