Walker: I was duct-taped at gunpoint during home invasion
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Criminal Courts Reporter
Former NBA star Antoine Walker testified Wednesday that he doesnt remember too much about the masked men who held him up at his River North home on July 9, 2007.
Former NBA star Antoine Walker doesn't remember too much about the masked men who held him up at his River North home, except for one detail: they had guns.
"I just wanted to follow directions and keep my head down," Walker said Wednesday at Demorris Hill's jury trial.
At one point the men wrapped duct-tape around his body and neck to restrain him; at another, they asked him for help starting his car - which they were trying to steal, Walker testified.
Hill, 28, is one of four men charged in the July 9, 2007, armed robbery and home invasion.
Walker, who wore a pair of jeans with a ripped back pocket and a black and gray striped sweatshirt, testified that he was in his garage sitting in his Cadillac Escalade waiting for his assistant Tyrone Ivery to return from Niketown when three men accosted him.
Walker said the $1,500 in cash and a cell phone he had on his lap fell as he got up and "listened" to the instructions the men gave him as they escorted him back inside the house with their weapons.
"They asked me who was in the house, what was upstairs," Walker, 34, told Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Mark Shlifka.
Two of the masked gunmen asked Walker, then with the Miami Heat, to sit on the floor at the foot of his bed. Minutes later, the other gunman came up with Ivery and also ordered him on the floor, the former Mount Carmel star said, his 6-foot-9 frame jutting out from the witness chair.
The men took Walker's briefcase that had $10,000 to $20,000 inside as well as 15 to 16 custom made watches, cuff links and a diamond necklace, Walker said.
Then they forced Walker and Ivery into Walker's walk-in closet and duct-taped their ankles, arms and mouth before asking them to count to a thousand, Walker said.
"In my mind I started counting, sitting there hoping that they'd leave," Walker said.
But five minutes later, one of the men came back up and asked the pair to start counting again.
He came back a third time, Walker said, asking for the athlete's keys to his black Mercedes CL550.
The man, who swiped the keys from Walker's pants, came back yet again when he had trouble starting the car.
"He didn't know how to start the car so he asked me how to start the car," Walker said. Walker stayed put but explained how the car worked.
Walker said he and Ivery got up 15 to 20 minutes later. They walked around the house, trying to get the tape off as they called the police.
"That's duct tape wrapped around my neck," Walker said as Shlifka showed him photographs. He said he couldn't remove some of the tape.
Walker admitted to Hill's attorney, Jack Rimland, that he never saw any of his assailant's faces or identified them in a line-up.
Phillip Allison, Hill's co-defendant, is expected to testify against Hill tomorrow in Judge Kenneth Wadas' courtroom.
Last year, Antoine Larkins was sentenced to 21 years in prison for his involvement in the crime. Gregory Reedfields, the getaway driver, was sentenced to four years.
Hill and Larkins were also charged in the 2007 break-in at New York Knicks Center Eddy Curry's Burr Ridge home.