A Cleveland woman has been found guilty of aggravated murder in a scheme to collect her slain husband’s $100,000 insurance payout, unaware that she was not the beneficiary of his policy.
Uloma Walker-Curry, 45, now faces life behind bars without parole for having hired a hit man in November 2013 to kill her husband, Lt. William Walker – a local fire fighter – who she wed just four months earlier. In the trial, which started on June 21, prosecutors claimed that the wife and mother was in tens of thousands of dollars in debt and thus approached the boyfriend of her 17-year-old daughter to find somebody to kill her husband.
However, unbeknown to Walker-Curry, her husband had not yet changed the beneficiary on his insurance policy at the time of his death, so his ex-wife received the money. According to the investigation and testimony, Walker-Curry paid the boyfriend, Chad Padgett, a $1,000 down payment for the hit. Padgett then hired his cousin Chris Hein to do the deed, but he initially failed to kill Walker.
Hein then contacted Ryan Dorty, who ambushed Walker and fatally shot him four times on his way home from picking up fast food.
The daughter, as well as Padgett, Hein and Dorty, testified against Walker-Curry in exchange for a plea deal for their part in the plot. Padgett will spend 28 years to life in prison, while Hein will spend 18 and Dorty 23 years. Walker-Curry’s daughter will not be prosecuted as an adult, and instead spend one month in a juvenile detention center.
During the trial, Walker-Curry’s attorneys indicated that it was the daughter who had devised the scheme. The mother also penned a confession on the day she gave herself over to authorities, claiming to have killed her husband because he was abusive. But according to local reports, no witnesses were brought to the stand to verify the accusation.
The verdict was reached by jurors in less than two hours on Friday, and Walker-Curry did not take the stand. She is set to be sentenced on August 8.