Reporting Meghan McCorkell
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A New Jersey police detective is now indicted on first degree murder charges. Police say Joseph Walker gunned down a Maryland man on the side of a highway after a road rage incident spiraled out of control.
Meghan McCorkell has reaction to the indictment.
Detective Joseph Walker was initially charged with second-degree murder but prosecutors have now opted to elevate those charges.
Life in prison. That’s the sentence now facing a New Jersey detective. Forty-year-old Joseph Walker was driving with his wife and three children on Route 3 in Anne Arundel County last month. Witnesses say Walker cut off a car driven by 36-year-old Joseph Harvey, Jr. The two drivers began swerving at each other and eventually pulled onto the side of the road. As Harvey approached, police say Walker shot him three times.
When details of the shooting emerged, friends and neighbors of Harvey told WJZ they were in shock.
“From what I understand, he was falling down when he shot him three more times,” said Jennie Jones.
Jones was like a second mother to Harvey, who lived with her family off and on for 20 years. She says she’s relieved at the grand jury indictment.
“I’m sort of glad because I want him to have to pay for what he did to Joe. I don’t think Joe had a right to be shot,” Jones said.
An attorney for Joseph Walker says his client is innocent and will fight the murder charges.
“He was not the initial aggressor. He acted in this case in self-defense. He was protecting himself and his family and he is looking forward to his day in court,” said Walker’s attorney, Charles Curlett.
Jennie Jones vows to be in court to face down the man who took away Joe Harvey.
“I just prayed that Joe would get justice and maybe he’s going to get it,” she said. “I hope so.”
Walker was released on a million dollars’ bond last month. He’ll be back in a Maryland courtroom August 19.
Along with first-degree murder, Walker is also charged with two firearms violations.