Kwok Wai Ho's Killer Gets Sentenced

Friday, October 30, 2009

While the penalty was technically more than the sentencing guidelines, and at least in some ways Kwok Wai Ho's family gets some type of closure - if you can call it that - I still don't know if it was harsh enough:

After hearing pleas for mercy from the 19-year-old defendant, his relatives and former teachers, and after calls for the maximum sentence from Ho's family, Judge Shelley Robins New handed him a 12 1/2-to-25-year term in state prison.

The third-degree murder sentence was harsher than the 72 months to 20 years that state sentencing guidelines allow for a defendant with no prior criminal record, but it was less than than the statutory maximum range of 20 to 40 years.

The defendant, the judge said, "had the benefit of a large, loving family . . . people who tried again and again to guide him in a world that is difficult." But, according to testimony during his August trial, Walker-Williams on July 10, 2007, veered sharply from those influences when he went looking to "catch a body."

That's street slang with a range of meanings, from assaulting to robbing to murdering a stranger. Walker-Williams, according to several friends who testified, asked them if they wanted to catch a body as they walked to a drugstore on Greeby Street near Loretto Avenue in the Oxford Circle neighborhood in the Northeast.They said no, but moments later, Walker-Williams grabbed Ho from behind, got him in a choke-hold and slammed his head to the pavement.
It still doesn't bring Kwok Wai Ho back though does it?