Man acquitted in slaying from botched robbery in New Hope

  • Article by: DAVID CHANEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 22, 2014 - 10:03 PM

A man was acquitted last week in a botched robbery turned slaying in a New Hope parking last June.

Damin Lee Shufford, 30, of New Hope, and another man were each charged with first-degree murder and robbery charges in the shooting death of Kent 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. 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 the 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 Walker’s death. 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. A few hours later, the witness said that he, another 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.”

One of the witnesses 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.

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

Adaiah Deontraie Townsend, 20, of Crystal, the other man charged with first-degree murder, pleaded guilty to being an accomplice after the fact, testified against Shufford and negotiated a deal for a sentence between six and 8½ years in prison.

DAVID CHANEN

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