Avatars Used In Trial To Treat Schizophrenia kropekk_pl/ Pixabay

A man in Spokane who killed his neighbor in May 2020 with a frying pan was sentenced to 22 years in prison last Friday. Cameron Walker, 25, had confessed and pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder of 36-year-old Wilbur Tankersley.

According to court documents, the incident took place last year when the victim had gotten into a tussle with Walker inside the Wolfe Apartments at 240 W. Sprague Ave. Police later received a 911 call from Walker saying he had gotten into a fight with his neighbor.

Walker had complained about Tankersley being loud and disorderly in the shared kitchen of the apartment building. He decided to confront him but then Tankersley spat on him. Walker told police he hit back three times and knocked Tankersley to the ground.

After the pair parted ways, Walker said his defeated neighbor came back at him with a pipe and started yelling as he kept on hitting walls in the hallway. In an effort to defend himself, Walker told police that he had gone into the common kitchen and armed himself with a frying pan.

Although police were able to gather video surveillance footage that showed the pair in the middle of an interaction, neither of the men were seen in actual throes of physical contact. Surveillance cameras did capture Tankersley leaving the building about 25 minutes before police arrived.

When police went over to Tankersley’s apartment, no one answered the door. Officers spotted a metal pipe through the gap of the door, but left without being able to locate Tankersley.

At around 8 am, downtown police precinct received Walker who came in with two bags in hand and asked for “some protection” for “a murder”. “I took a skillet and beat a man’s head until his soul left his body,” Walker confessed to the officer at the front desk. He then told officers the location of the victim’s body which was in the same room of the apartment building the police had visited earlier.

Cops arrived at the apartment and found the door to Tankersley’s room ajar and knocked. They pushed open the door farther and found the body of the victim on the ground. Walker later declined to answer questions from detectives.

According to Walker’s defense attorney, Jeff Leslie, he would have argued for self-defense since both his client and the victim had gotten into a physical fight. But then Leslie doubted the jury would agree that the matter warranted the death of Tankersley.

A psychologist determined Walker suffers from schizophrenia as his adopted mother also told the judge they had been trying to get help for Walker numerous times. The victim's mother also said her son struggled with schizophrenia but was in treatment at the time he was killed.

Tankersley’s sister, Crystalyn Noel Garrity, asked presiding Judge Harold Clarke to mete out a minimum sentence of 36 years for Walker which is equivalent to the age her brother died at his hands.

Seattle Pi reported, Judge Clarke on the other hand, had agreed with the prosecution’s recommended sentence of 264 months, due to Walker’s lack of a criminal history.

hanging pots and pans takedahrs/Pixabay