OKLAHOMA CITY – Nineteen-year-old Elijah Walker appeared in the Oklahoma County Court on Tuesday – facing two charges of first-degree murder. His lawyer said he’s mentally ill.
Parents Michael and Rachel Walker were gunned down in early March in their Edmond home. A brother in the house called 911 for help and wasn’t hurt.
“Most of the time, the clients recognize that we are on there side.”
Legal analyst Jacqui Ford said fighting to prove a client is “mentally incompetent” to stand trial is challenging and the client is not always cooperative. That was the case Tuesday morning with Eli – who, according to his attorney’s petition, “has made numerous paranoid and delusional statements,” saying he was suspicious of his attorney and refusing to cooperate.
“It’s not uncommon with clients that are facing competency challenges to not want to have their competency challenged,” Ford said.
Walker’s attorney wants the judge to release an independent psychiatric evaluation to the state and court, but Elijah refused to sign off on that.
Judge Natalie Mai called the 19-year-old in front of her, asking if he understood the situation was “very serious.” He, in a very quiet voice, answered that he did.
Derek Chance is Eli’s attorney. He said Eli made reference to the doctor that did the psych evaluation – as being a satanist and said Eli said he was acting in self defense on the night of March 4.
Ultimately, Mai refused Eli’s request and released the psychiatric report to the state and Eli’s attorney. But, a protective order was applied to make sure that information isn’t released to the public.
“Our medical records are very precious for very, very important reasons, our medical records and our mental health records are deemed private, and the defendant has the absolute right to challenge the release of those records,” Ford said.
The state will review the finding in the evaluation.
Walker’s attorney told News 4 that, if the state agrees with the findings, Eli could be sent to a state mental health facility to await further legal proceedings. If not, both sides are scheduled to appear back in court April 12.