Charges: Killer shot man he robbed in New Hope 'to relieve stress'

  • Updated: October 30, 2013 - 10:24 AM

Two men are charged with murder for a botched robbery-turned-slaying in a New Hope parking lot, where the accused killer allegedly fired the fatal shots “to relieve stress.”

Damin Lee Shufford, 29, of New Hope, and Adaiah Deontraie Townsend, 20, of Crystal, each face first-degree murder and robbery charges for the June 26 shooting death of Kent Lee Walker Jr., 59, of Fridley.

Walker was discovered shot to death inside his car at the Crystal Towers Apartments at 7600 Bass Lake Road, where witnesses reported having heard popping sounds the night before.

An autopsy revealed that he died of two gunshot wounds to the head. A bullet was recovered from his body, while police found four .44-caliber shell casings at the crime scene and determined that they matched a Charter Arms .44 Bull Dog Special, a revolver.

On Aug. 3, St. Louis Park police stopped a car and confiscated a revolver that forensic tests revealed was the one used in Walker’s killing.

According to charges: An unnamed witness who was in the car when it was stopped said he had been with Shufford and another unnamed witness near the Crystal Towers apartments on the night of the murder. He said Shufford had a gun and was going to do a “mission,” meaning he was going to rob someone. He told police that Shufford went up the hill before three shots went off.

Shufford returned and said he had to “slump” the guy because the man tried to grab his gun. The witness said he saw the body in the car and they all ran away, fearing the gunshots would attract police officers.

A few hours later, the witness said that he, Townsend, a third witness and Shufford went back to the car and saw Walker inside. When the fourth witness knocked on the window, Shufford said, “He’s not going to wake up because I shot the man.”

The third witness then opened the door and took Walker’s money. When they argued about splitting it, Shufford allegedly said they wouldn’t have any money if it weren’t for him.

Charges say Townsend told police that Shufford sold him the Charter revolver, but asked to borrow it on June 26 for a robbery. He returned it later and said the “situation went sour.”

Townsend later asked Shufford why he shot Walker, and Walker responded, “It’s something I do to relieve stress.”

Shufford and Townsend are each charged with aiding and abetting first-degree murder, aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting attempted aggravated robbery.

ABBY SIMONS

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