Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 3:28 PM on Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happy Valley shooter under medical care

Morris News Service - Alaska

An Anchor Point woman charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting at an Alaska Wildlife Trooper on the Sterling Highway remains in the medical unit of Highland Mountain Correctional Center, a facility for housing female prisoners in Eagle River.

Tonee M. Walker, 58, was indicted Monday by a Kenai grand jury and an arraignment hearing held Tuesday. Because Walker is under the influence of pain medication, Superior Court Judge Anna Moran did not take a plea and scheduled another arraignment hearing for Aug. 7 at the Kenai Courthouse.

The grand jury indicted Walker for attempted first-degree murder and four counts of third-degree assault, all felonies. It also added misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence and fourth-degree weapons misconduct. Walker had previously been charged with reckless driving, also a misdemeanor.

On July 15 trooper Trent Chwialkowski returned gunfire when Walker allegedly shot at him as he tried to stop her car. Walker suffered gunshot wounds to the arm and torso. No one else was injured, troopers reported.

Walker attended the hearing telephonically and asked Moran to speak slowly because she was unable to write with her left hand, she said.

Moran asked the defendant if she understood the charges against her.

"Um, yes. I went to the ... oh, gosh," Walker responded.

The judge then asked Walker if she was taking pain medications. After discovering Walker was under the influence of medication, Moran opted to continue the hearing next week. Public defender Andy Pevehouse, Walker's assigned attorney, agreed with the decision, informing the court he had not yet spoken with his client.

Walker also informed the court that she would continue to be on medication.

"I have a bullet in my back and my right leg paralyzed, and my left hand and arm are useless," Walker said.

According to a criminal complaint by Trooper Mark Pearson and filed in Homer Court, at about 5:20 p.m. July 15, troopers received numerous calls of a woman recklessly driving a yellow Nissan XTR near Mile 153 Sterling Highway in the Anchor Point area.

Walker allegedly drove south in the northbound lane of the highway and shot at other cars. Chwialkowski contacted Walker's vehicle near Stariski Creek at about 6:15 p.m., and they exchanged gunfire.

Walker drove on and stopped near Mile 147, where multiple law enforcement agencies surrounded her vehicle. She surrendered after about 30 minutes, according to the complaint.

Troopers reported finding a suicide note in Walker's car. She allegedly intended to commit suicide, writing that she wanted "to go out in a blaze."

Walker has no criminal history in Alaska, according to state court records.

Jerzy Shedlock can be reached at jerzy.shedlock@peninsulaclarion.com.