A Fort Drum soldier accused of killing his wife and a state trooper in Theresa, NY this summer has been indicted by a grand jury. The charges against Sgt. Justin Walters include first-degree murder and a long list of weapons offenses.
The court documents help shed some light on a case that rocked Jefferson County and the Fort Drum community this past July.
New York State Trooper Joel Davis was the first officer to respond to reports of a domestic disturbance at the home of Army Staff Sgt. Justin Walters and his wife, Nichole. According to the indictment, Nichole Walters was shot in the head – and sustained non-fatal wounds to her hands, face and buttocks that were “intended to inflict and inflicted torture upon the victim” before she died.
Davis was shot fatally in the chest. A friend of the Walters family who was staying on the property with her children was shot in the back. She survived, but Walters is charged with attempted murder and child endangerment.
Walters had weapons in his possession that are strictly regulated in New York State: two semi-automatic rifles with pistol grips. Walters also had high-capacity magazines, which can hold up to 45 rounds of ammunition at a time and are totally illegal in New York. Prosecutors claim that Walters used one of the semi-automatic weapons in the shooting.
The indictment does not mention a possible motive. However, colleagues of Justin Walters’ told NCPR this summer he was known to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after two deployments to Afghanistan.
Walters is still considered an active-duty sergeant, according to an Army spokesman. His pay has been suspended during his confinement in Jefferson County jail. Walters is currently being held without bail. He is due back in court this Friday.