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Jury sequestered after failing to reach verdict in murder of Chicago cop

Updated: October 8, 2013 9:53PM



After nine hours of deliberations, a Cook County jury was sequestered late Tuesday night after failing to reach a verdict in the trial of a South Side man accused of helping his friends murder Chicago Police Officer Alejandro “Alex” Valadez in a vacant Englewood lot four years ago.

Although Kevin Walker never fired from the car he was driving early on the morning of June 1, 2009, he positioned the vehicle so his two friends, Shawn Gaston and Christopher Harris, could get a good shot, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said in her closing arguments earlier Tuesday.

Valadez, 27, and his partner were responding to a call of shots fired — shots that were aimed at Walker and his friends — when he was killed in the 6000 block of South Hermitage.

Valadez was “protecting” the three men, but they thanked the plainclothes officer for his service with a hail of bullets as they tried to retaliate against their enemies, prosecutors said. Valadez was shot in the left ear and thigh.

Walker and his “kill team” were so bent on getting revenge, they didn’t care who they gunned down, prosecutors said.

“In his warped mind. In his warped sense of justice,” he thinks it’s fine, Alvarez said, glaring at Walker, 25.

Walker, who had his long dreadlocks tied back in court, also is charged with the attempted murder of Kelvin Thomas — the resident Valadez was interviewing when the officer was slain.

Walker, whose nickname is “Killer Kev,” told detectives he never had a “banger” — a gun — on him at the time of the fatal shooting.

Defense attorneys pointed out to jurors that Walker’s DNA was never found on the steering wheel of the car he was accused of driving at the time of the crime.

But Alvarez said Walker was seen with both Gaston and Walker leading up to the shooting.

Walker’s fingerprints were found on a .40 caliber handgun — one of two weapons used in the murder, Alvarez added.

“He plays with his guns and so do his buddies,” she said.

Two years ago, Alvarez also prosecuted Gaston. It was her first case since her 2008 election. Gaston, 24, was convicted and is serving a 125-year prison term.

Closing arguments are expected Wednesday in 24-year-old Harris’ case Cook County Judge Jorge Alonso.

Email: rhussain@suntimes.com

Twitter: @rummanahussain



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