Four and a half years after she shot unarmed teen Kelvion Walker in the stomach, former Dallas police Senior Corp. Amy Wilburn pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of illegally discharging a firearm.
She’ll serve 18 months probation after entering a guilty plea to the lesser of two charges — the other was felony aggravated assault — stemming from the shooting. Geoff Henley, Walker’s attorney, says the result from Tuesday will bolster Walker's pending civil suit against Wilburn.
“But we absolutely believe that she has more punishment coming,” he says.
“We understand the dynamic that juries have had with finding it difficult to render guilty verdicts against cops who are shooting people in the line of duty,” the lawyer says.
Wilburn's indictment in 2014 was a move in the right direction, Henley says. She was the first Dallas police officer in more than four decades to be indicted for shooting somebody.
Walker was 19 and unarmed when Wilburn shot him in the stomach in December 2013. He was riding shotgun in a car he did not know was stolen. After Wilburn attempted to stop the car, its driver drove a ways and then jumped out, leaving Walker alone in the stolen vehicle. Dash camera footage shows Wilburn run up to the car, draw her weapon and shoot Walker once. He still had on his seatbelt. Witnesses said he had his hands in the air.
An internal investigation by Dallas police found Wilburn in violation of the department’s policy on the use of deadly force. Former police Chief David Brown fired Wilburn not long after the shooting.
Henley says the next phase of litigation will move to federal court. Later this week, he and his client will challenge whether Wilburn should be able to have her criminal record cleared of the shooting. Henley contends that because she pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge, Wilburn should not be allowed to clear her name or record.
“We intend to take this matter up the court in the next several days,” Henley says.
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