One of the most disturbing stories I’ve ever written about was the 2007 gang rape of a woman in the Dunbar Village housing complex in West Palm Beach, Florida. A group of four teens committed the home invasion of a mother and her son at Dunbar Village. The quartet not only gang-raped the woman but they forced her to have sex with her 12-year-old son. The four tried setting their victims on fire, but when they couldn’t find a lighter they doused their victims in cleaning fluids to try to remove any DNA evidence. Three of them were sentenced to life and the fourth was sentenced to 30 years after turning on his friends. Two of the suspects, Jakaris Taylor and Nathan Walker, had their life sentences reduced to 60 years after the Supreme Court ruled that life sentences for teens were unconstitutional.
This past week, Nathan Walker had his 60-year sentence upheld by Chief Judge Krista Marx who had presided over the original trial. However, this is not the end of the story.
Walker’s attorney is claiming that he’s discovered new evidence that he believes the prosecution withheld from the defense which could lead to a new trial. The evidence in question is a statement co-defendant Tommy Poindexter made to state prosecutors in 2009 when he was trying to negotiate a plea deal. Poindexter was 18 at the time of the crime and received a life sentence for his part and was considered the ring leader of the attack. I haven’t read what’s in Poindexter’s statement that could provide new trials or they could get new trials based on the fact that prosecutors didn’t allegedly turn over the evidence.
Personally, I don’t see how new trials wouldn’t have the same results. However, I’ve been known to occasionally be wrong in my legal assessments. It wouldn’t be the first time I was surprised about vicious criminals being released back into the public.