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Driver charged with murder, 4th DWI in Friday crash

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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- We are learning more about a Leland man charged with murder after a car crash friday that killed a 61-year-old woman.

The district attorney says Pierre Walker should never have been behind the wheel in the first place based on his checkered past.

Investigators say Walker, 26, was involved in not one, but two traffic accidents Friday afternoon. After hitting a van in Brunswick County, they say Walker continued speeding west on US 74/76. Near Delco he allegedly crossed over the median at a high rate of speed and hit Martha Mintz head-on and killing her instantly.

Investigators say Walker was high at the time of the accident.

"DWI drivers are a clear and present dangers to folks on the highway," District Attorney Jon David said. "We had a woman who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just coming home from work. She was literally in her work car at the time of the incident. It was 4 o'clock on a Friday afternoon. It could have been any of us."

Walker is behind bars at the Columbus County Detention Center, where David says he should have been weeks ago.

"Because of the facts of the case and the defendant's prior record, we can show that there is malice, which is something beyond death by motor vehicle, and in this particular circumstance we did the exceptional thing of choosing to charge him with murder, and we will be indicting him for murder and aggressively prosecuting him under the law," David said.

Over the last 10 years Walker has faced 43 charges in New Hanover and Brunswick counties, including three DWIs, two of which he pleaded guilty to in February.

David says after his last conviction Walker should have faced a minimum 60-day sentence, but he says Judge Sandra Ray suspended his sentence to allow him to make a probation hearing in Columbus County set for today. Instead, he appeared in court on the murder charge.

"This is an individual that should not have been on the roadway," David said. "He is somebody that needs to be prosecuted very harshly as we move forward."

Walker faces charges of second degree murder and habitual DWI in Columbus County. David says he also plans to file charges against Walker in Brunswick County for the first of two crashes Friday.

Today a judge set Walker's bond at $1 million.

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