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Brother of man shot by deputy pleads guilty to drug, riot charges

LARGO — The brother of a man shot by a Pinellas County sheriff's deputy in 2005 pleaded guilty Tuesday to numerous drug charges and will spend 15 years in prison.

Orin Montrell Walker, 27, also pleaded guilty to inciting a riot.

In April 2005, deputies raided the Walker home at 3143 16th Ave. S in a drug investigation and said Jarrell Walker appeared to be reaching for something under the couch. The 19-year-old refused repeated commands to show his hands, and a deputy shot Jarrell Walker twice in the back.

The deputy was cleared of wrongdoing, but the shooting sparked community outrage and protests. About a month later, Orin Walker and another man were charged with inciting a riot in Childs Park, urging a crowd to attack police. Bricks, rocks and bottles were thrown at officers.

Five months later, in October 2005, the Sheriff's Office conducted another raid on the Walker home and said deputies found cocaine, marijuana and other drugs inside. Orin Walker was arrested along with his mother, Wanda, on sales and possession charges.

All this came to a head on Tuesday as Orin Walker's trial was set to begin.

But first he complained to Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Thane Covert that he was upset with his attorney, well-known lawyer Grady Irvin. Holding a law book, Walker said he wanted Irvin to file a motion to suppress evidence in the case. He said the original search warrant specified only that officers were looking for cocaine, not the other drugs they found. He said the motion "is critical to my case."

Irvin, looking frustrated, said he had filed just such a motion, but said it would not wipe away as much evidence as Walker imagined. He said he had tried to explain this to his client.

Walker said he was considering firing Irvin and defending himself. The judge told Walker he could defend himself, but the case would still proceed on Tuesday.

After discussions with Irvin, Walker eventually entered into a plea arrangement and pleaded guilty to trafficking in hydrocodone, cocaine and oxycodone; possession of amphetamines and marijuana; being a felon in possession of a firearm; and inciting a riot.

Brother of man shot by deputy pleads guilty to drug, riot charges 03/24/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 6:51pm]
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