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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There are still questions tonight why a man accused of hitting and killing a woman in a suspected drunk driving crash Friday was not in jail for previous crimes.

Pierre Walker had twice been convicted of DWI this month alone and was on probation in at least three counties.

“When you look at what causes the most death and destruction every year in the 5th (judicial) district, and the 13th district for that matter, it’s not guns or knives. It’s a car being driven by an impaired driver,” David said. “Impaired drivers, which cause these accidents, which are no accidents at all, are going to continue to face the full measure of the law.”

According to court records Pierre Walker, 26, was no stranger to area court rooms. In February alone he was convicted on two separate DWI charges.

“Mr. Walker was a priority for my office, because he had demonstrated not once but twice that he was driving while subject to impairing substances, and anyone who does that is more likely to offend again, and so we wanted to make sure that his cases were prosecuted to the fullest extent, and they were,” David said.

David’s brother Jon, who is DA in Brunswick and Columbus counties, where Walker’s newest charges are, says his DWI convictions this month should have gotten him at least 60 days in jail. Instead, Jon David says Walker got probation.

Judge Sandra Ray heard both of those cases. She left WWAY a voicemail in answer to our questions about Walker’s sentence.

“I have pulled both of those files, and I’ve got that driving record, and they were not 60 days. One conviction was a year in prison. Another was two years in prison,” she said in the call.

But court records show that in each case Ray suspended the sentences in favor of 24 months of supervised probation.

She was in court Tuesday and could not be reached to further explain her decisions.

WWAY spoke with the family of Martha Mintz, the mother and grandmother killed in Friday’s crash. They did not want to talk on camera, but they said they would like to speak with Judge Ray about her decision and that they hope Walker spends the rest of his life in prison.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest111

    It only takes one time driving drunk to kill someone. I wish all venicles driven by drunks would be taken and sold at auction. Also, those who were driving would not be allowed to buy it and I would like to see these drivers lose their license for 5 years. All this on the first offense. Not many people would be willing to let a drunk drive their car if they stood a chance of losing it. Make the punishment hurt.

  • real answer

    The simple answer is to model new jails after Maricopa County’s jail system.

    Prisoners wear pink.
    They live outside in tents.
    If they misbehave, they are moved indoors into solitary.
    The meals cost on average 29 cents.
    They use chain gangs.
    They have the first female chain gang in the world.
    No cable TV.
    No exercise equipment to make bigger and better criminals.
    The jail and it’s staff do not coddle prisoners.

    Most criminals now consider our jails to be 3 hots and a cot. A criminals Hilton with a hospital wing.

    New sentencing rules.
    If they have 1 DWI conviction it’s jail time, mandatory. This could be handled in traffic court on an expedited basis. Blood sample and breathalyzer report, along with the arrest report being the only evidence needed.

    After 1 year confinement, they should go free.
    2nd offense 5 years etc.

    This system works, and protects the public at the same time.

    I would agree to higher taxes if they were used in this way. But you could also seize their property, if they had any, to make them pay for part of it themselves.

    The present system does not work. We as society need to re-visit this problem and use common sense to find a real solution before we’re bankrupt and can’t afford to house the Police, much less prisoners.

    When punishment is certain and swift, after a year they may take it more seriously than what they get now. A slap on the wrist.

  • Guesttenheimer

    …and you’d better be damned glad that’s the case! However, amputation of feet and hands (as I mentioned in an earlier post) would be an effective deterrent to the idiots that still want to drink and drive!

  • Vog46

    DWI’s don’t necessarily equal murder convictions…
    but you knew that

    Vog

  • Guest Reply

    Her “Endorsements List” to take seat in our Judicial System:

    http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20081027/SPLASH/810270299#

  • Guest CommonTater

    and promptly executed , then your question would be moot….. This is how it should be addressed.

  • Guest3130

    I am so sorry for the senseless loss of Martha, and I understand that you may not want to go on-camera, but it is the voices of broken-hearted families that need the attention of the press here, not the perpetrator. Maybe if the DA’s , the judges and the system as a whole can see the depth of your pain & loss, maybe then they will listen – only you can convey that to them.

    And as for the DA’s, you can blame the judge all you want, but it is YOUR job & YOUR responsibility to keep our counties safe from harm – you should have helped prevent this by strenuously objecting to the judge’s suspended sentences & probation recommendations for this repeat offender. This was an epic system failure.

  • Vog46

    Everyone is calling for mandatory jail time.
    I can agree with that. I hardly drink, and never drive when drinking.
    So if our prisons can hold 500,000 rapists, murderers, and others and we need to incarcerate 100,000 repeat DWI offenders who do you let out to accommodate them?
    Or are you saying you’ll AGREE to a tax increase to fund additional prisons? You’ll agree to thousands of new state pensions for correctional officers with paid BCBS for life?
    Just asking and this doesn’t have any bearing on this senseless tragedy.

    Vog

  • NOFAITHNLAW

    HE MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH!

  • nofaithnlaw

    HABITUAL CRIMINAL! MAYBE IT WAS SOMEONE IN HIS STABLE ENVIRONMENT THAT ALLOWED HIM TO TAKE THE CAR (NO DRIVERS LICENSE)….HE WAS RUNNING FROM A HIT AND RUN!

  • nofaithnlaw

    Yeah, make her have to face this family that has lost of loved one, because she suspended a sentence to what most people with common sense would call a HABITUAL DRUNK CRIMINAL! The judicial system is a fat laugh!

  • Guesttenheimer

    …and that will easily answer whatever “questions” remain. When we have convicted Felons walking among us with 8, 10 to 15 violent felony convictions (as are posted weekly on this website), why would anyone think that DWI violators would be treated any different?
    Eyebrows get raised when someone is killed due to the actions of a multiple DWI offender, not until then. Eyebrows get raised when a gunman robs someone at McDonalds and possesses 10 felony convictions including armed robbery, but not until then. They are allowed to commit crimes and subsequently allowed to walk around the law-abiding public to simply violate more law. They call them criminals for a reason, it’s their mindset, it’s their career.

    Why are they out of jail? I’ll give you three chances to answer and the first two don’t count!

  • lenwood

    I am here to tell you that everybodys circumstances are different and that i myself received two dwi’s and that im not out running the roads still drinking and driving people make mistakes but you cannot put this on that judge. people always want sombody to blame but its not her.If it wasnt for a judge having a little mercy on me i wouldnt be at home this morning to see my son or wife. Things happen for a reason and i can tell you that if it was ur family in front of that judge you would want her to give them probation also. So all im saying is dont be so quick to nail the judge to the cross just as it was the district attorneys position to do his job to the fullest and if he thought that man needed prison thats where that man would be because i can promise you that the judge didnt make that verdict by her self but with the information that was given to her. Im grateful to the judge that allowed me to stay home and not go to prison and have learned my lesson.

  • charlie

    It’s the same thing over and over.
    The food deliverly man

    They are all put back on the street to repeat over and over.
    Some have 10-20 charges and the get probation

  • Guest111

    Another PRIME EXAMPLE to prove our judicial system is broken, turns it’s head the other way and a joke. Hope Judge Sandra Ray Criner sleeps well at night. What a joke.

  • Guesttenheimer

    Everything doesn’t always boil down to taxation for funding. We re-allocate existing funding and apply it reasonably for “bang for the buck”. We can start with elimination of lifetime entitlement bene’s for the lazy that don’t or won’t work and deal drugs for a living. We stop feeding, providing housing and free healthcare to every illegal alien that casually strolls across our border. We take the current prisoners and put then to mandatory work detail and reduce the government load. Prisoners do excellent roofing tar and asphalt paving in the summertime. In addition, we fine and seize property of the perpetrators to put that back into the system and help pay for it. By doing this we reduce crime, keep the criminals under lock and key, they stop laughing and the people stop losing. We won’t need as many judges, so the ones we keep will have to do their job in a top notch manner. We won’t need as many lawyers as the criminal will remain in prison and won’t need them.

    In addition, this is the first and foremost basic step to controlling gun related violence. They can’t get the guns if they remain in prison. The point is, there IS a way to make this happen without additional taxation. The politicians avoid it, the attorneys avoid it, the judges avoid it and nothing ever really happens but a bunch of horse-hooie with chin-music. Nobody wants their money machine mangled, remember?

    The long and short of it is: The method of crime control we currently have does nothing other that generate a bunch of fat pockets, it isn’t helping society and leeches like this careless drunk will forever continue to plague us.

    There are effective methods of dealing with this. The big problem is, it takes work, change and something other than simply throwing tax money at it! When we KNOW exactly what a persons criminal history will dictate for their future based on their record, it is no less tha asinine to allow them to access freedom again! This is a simple multiple DWI case that resulted in a tragic death of an innocent person. Only one of hundreds of thousands of these across the nation. We have convicted murderers, rapists, pedophiles and drug dealers freely walking among us by the thousands everyday…just waiting for their next “opportunity”. That opportunity could be you, your wife and/or your children.

  • taxpayer

    the punishment for DWI is beheading at worst…public flogging at best.

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