Walker found guilty on both counts

By: NBC 11 News Email
By: NBC 11 News Email

Johnnie Walker, a former Grand Junction High School Athletic Director, has been found guilty of attempted internet luring of a child and attempted enticement of a child, following a day of jury deliberations.

He appeared in court at a little after 12:30 p.m. Friday to hear the verdict. Once the guilty verdict was read, Walker was taken away in handcuffs by the Mesa County Sheriff's Department due to a lapse in necessary paperwork.

He is expected to be released as soon as the paperwork issue is cleared up, and is scheduled to be back in court in early December for sentencing.

Walker was on trial for the two charges in connection to a series of on-line chats he had with a man posing as a 14-year-old girl.

During Thursday's closing statements, the District Attorney's Office argued Walker truly believed he was talking to a 14-year-old girl when he made disturbing and sexual comments to her.

They say of all the rooms open on the adult chat site he logged in to, Walker found the one with the decoy, looked at her profile which revealed she was a high school freshman in Colorado Springs, and only then contacted her.

Walker's defense attorney argued that Jason Steitel, the man posing as the girl, was not trained to do this kind of operation, he did it all on his own without being preempted by any group, and lied to get this fake 14-year-old into the adult Web site.

She said the jurors couldn't rely on the chats because no one knows if he did anything to them between the time they occurred and when police got them. She maintained that Walker believed he was speaking to an ex-girlfriend in disguise and asked if he was looking for a young girl, what was he doing in an adult chat room in the first place.

Jurors began their deliberations on Thursday afternoon and reached their verdict at a little after 12 p.m. on Friday.

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