By Michael Baker
The Fresno Bee
Published 12/13/03 05:25:14
The ex-convict involved in the 1992 Fresno slaying of Kimber Reynolds — a killing that led to California’s “Three Strikes and You’re Out” law — may be about to strike out.
Douglas David Walker, 38, has been charged with grand theft for allegedly stealing a tool chest and its contents worth about $500, according to a police report.
If convicted, he faces life in prison because of the law that his criminal record helped bring about.
Walker’s latest arrest didn’t surprise Reynolds’ family.
“This guy is a professional criminal,” said Kimber Reynolds’ father, Mike Reynolds. “If he’s on the streets, he’s doing crime.
“He’s going to have a very tough time pleading he didn’t know about the law.”
After his daughter’s murder, Reynolds launched the campaign that resulted in the Three Strikes law, under which thrice-convicted felons receive a minimum of 25 years to life in prison.
That’s too harsh for taking some tools from the back of a truck, said Walker’s attorney, Ron Perring, with the county public defender’s office. “I think it’s the outcome of the Three Strikes laws I deal with on a weekly basis,” Perring said.
“There are some awful harsh sentences for minor crimes. You end up with cases like this. With him having some notoriety, it’s really going to be tough.”
Given Walker’s history, especially his involvement in Kimber Reynolds’ death, prosecutors aren’t expected to settle for less than a third-strike conviction (but as we learned later the judge did).
Given Walker’s history, especially his involvement in Kimber Reynolds’ death, prosecutors aren’t expected to settle for less than a third-strike conviction.
Reynolds said just because the underlying crime may seem minor, it doesn’t mean it’s not serious.
“Remember, my daughter was murdered over a purse snatching.”
Walker and friend Joe Davis targeted Kimber Reynolds, an 18-year-old design student, for a robbery in the Tower District on June 30, 1992. She was shot to death as she fought the robbers for her purse.
Davis, the gunman who killed Reynolds, was later killed in a police shootout. To avoid murder charges, Walker accepted a plea agreement in Fresno County Superior Court, saying he was guilty of robbery, attempted robbery and accessory charges. In December 1992, he was sentenced to nine years in prison. The sentence also gave him two strikes.
After Walker served 4-1/2 years in prison, he was paroled. Within a few weeks, he violated parole and was arrested and sent back to prison.
He since has been in and out of prison, last being released in February, according to records with the California Department of Corrections.
Walker’s criminal history and drug problems stretch back to his childhood. At age 13, he was arrested for inhaling fumes and selling heroin.
Before age 18, he had been arrested three times for being drunk in public. That was followed by arrests for petty thefts and drugs, court records show.
His latest arrest was on Nov. 14, when police picked him up for allegedly stealing the toolbox and Craftsman tools.
Walker has pleaded not guilty to the crime. His preliminary hearing, when a judge decides if there is sufficient evidence to hold a trial, is scheduled for Wednesday.
“It’s pretty clear that he’s a drug user and he supports that use through crime,” Reynolds said. “Enough is enough. … Here we are 10 years later and still wrapping up loose ends on this. He’s a career criminal, and we’re in a position to do something about it without more bloodshed.” *Note: After being released early in 2015, Walker was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. After making numerous terrorist threats FROM INSIDE THE FRESNO COUNTY JAIL ALL THE WHILE KNOWING HIS CALL WAS BEING RECORDED, additional felony charges were filed against him. Walker was finally sentenced to 44 years in March 2018.