John H. Walker Jr. has taken his battle to the public over the past seven years, working relentlessly to overturn the convictions that left him and two others with lengthy prison stays for a 1976 murder they insist they never committed.
Another chapter will be written today in Walker's struggle, when his attorneys deliver a motion to Erie County Court to overturn the convictions from the beating death of 62-year-old William Crawford. "We never had a motion put into court," Walker said Monday.
"The district attorneys always told us to file a motion in court. Now we're going in with all the evidence that we know will exonerate us."
Walker said his legal team also hopes to get depositions from two current local judges; one was the defense attorney who got the fourth defendant in the case acquitted, while the other judge was an assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case.
The filing of the motion today will be preceded by a 1 p.m. rally at the courthouse at 25 Delaware Ave., with Walker and his attorneys speaking with reporters.
The case dates to the Jan. 2, 1976 beating death of Crawford with a blunt instrument in the driveway of his Fillmore Avenue home. Five teens were questioned, four were charged with murder and three were convicted. Walker and the two other convicted men spent a total of more than 80 years in prison.
One of the three, Darryn C. Gibson, died in August 2009, just months after he was paroled following 32 years in prison. The other two convicted men, Walker and Darryl A. Boyd, remain free, but still are trying to clear their names.
"I feel very good about this," the 53-year-old Walker said of the new court motion. "I believe the murder will be solved. We have a witness who will come forward to say who the killer is."