Walker arrested again on meth production

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By Brad Bowman

Kentucky State Police arrested a Henry County man during a traffic stop for alleged meth production less than two weeks before his sentencing on a pending family meth case.

Trooper Brodie Jodry stopped a vehicle without taillights that Geremy Walker, 39 was riding in on Sunday, Sept. 1, two miles north of Bedford on U.S. 421. 

Jodry found several ingredients used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine in the vehicle.

“There were lithium batteries, Sudafed, lighter fluid and tools for cutting the batteries open in the car to get the lithium out,” said Brad Arterburn, Public Information Officer for Kentucky State Police Post 5. “Walker was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a meth precursor because Trooper Jodry said he (Walker) had coffee filters in his pocket and a receipt for a cold compress that he bought. Evidently, you open the insides of it and they use it to cook meth.”

Walker, who has been out on bail since June 28, accepted a plea deal from the Commonwealth last month in a 2012 meth lab case involving his wife Christina Walker, daughters Sabrina and Amber Walker, and son John Walker.

Henry County Circuit Court Judge Karen Conrad will sentence Walker and his wife, Christina Walker, Thursday for their involvement in an active meth lab at the Sulphur residence where the family lived, along with Sabrina Walker’s 5-month infant, and 2- and 6-year-old children.

On May 22, 2012, Troopers Mitch Hazelett and Justin Sams came to the Sulphur residence to serve a warrant for mother Christina Walker. Sabrina Walker allowed the troopers to search the premises. The troopers found marijuana pipes in plain sight and noticed the ammonia smell of methamphetamine in the bedroom where Sabrina Walker said her parents slept.

The troopers found an active meth lab inside a wooden box labeled ‘happy camper,’ Coleman lighter fluid, Drano, plastic tubing, tin foil, coffee filters, pseudoephedrine, lithium batteries, and a Target bag containing plastic bottles underneath Christina and Geremy Walker’s bed. Troopers also collected a bong, eight marijuana pipes, metal scales, plastic baggies and traces of marijuana in the residence.

Henry County EMS transported Sabrina Walker’s children to Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville for examination. According to court documents, Kosair’s examination indicated the children showed no trace of exposure to the chemicals used in meth production.

Troopers arrested daughters Amber, then 18, and Sabrina Walker, then 19, and charged them with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, unlawful possession of a meth precursor, unlawful distribution of a meth precursor, and three counts of endangering the welfare of a minor.

Geremy Walker was arrested one month later on Friday, June 22, and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, 1st offense; unlawful possession of a meth precursor, 1st offense; drug paraphernalia, buy/possess; possession of marijuana; unlawful distribution of a meth precursor, 1st offense; and controlled substance endangerment to a child, 4th degree. Walker was in custody at Carroll County Detention Center until June 28, 2013.

On May 10, 2013, Shelley Brown, assistant public advocate acting on behalf of Walker as his public defender, argued during a suppression hearing that the evidence should be suppressed, the warrantless search was unconstitutional and daughter Sabrina Walker did not have the authority to give consent for the search.

Brown’s argument included that the Walkers had a reasonable expectation of privacy in their bedroom, law enforcement did not have probable cause and no exigent, or demanding circumstances allowed for the warrantless search. Brown argued that circumstances for a warrantless search were valid if an exigent circumstance existed, probable cause existed and there was no opportunity to secure a warrant.

“This fails according to the defense, based on probable cause by theory of plain smell,” Brown wrote. “Officers were not in a legal position to observe the smell. Sams stated he observed the odor in the bedroom. He entered without a search warrant…without valid consent and he was not in position where he legally had the right to be in a position to observe the smell.”

Brown argued that given Sams’ testimony the officers showed no evidence of exigent circumstances existed with imminent peril or bodily harm for at the point the troopers noticed the chemical smell that, ‘…Neither the ambulance or fire department were summoned, the residence was not evacuated for the safety of the children or adults….they didn’t ask Sabrina to leave the room,” Brown wrote. “Sams testified that they continued to take photographs and search rooms.”

According to the suppression hearing records, Brown found inconsistencies with Sams’ testimony. Trooper Sams stated Sabrina (Walker) took them through the entire house, but only specifically recalled the parents’ bedroom. According to Brown’s arguments for suppression, ”Sams stated he could not recall whether the door (to the bedroom) was locked, latched, closed or open,” Brown wrote. “Sams asked if they could search the room. Sams couldn’t recall who opened the box (containing the alleged active meth lab)… no search warrant was obtained by the police nor was an attempt made. Second, officers did not obtain consent to search from Christina or Geremy Walker. Third, the officers knew the room belonged to Christina and Geremy Walker.”

Conrad dismissed the motion for suppression stating in her judgment that any resident of the home could challenge the search, but Sabrina Walker consented. Conrad wrote in her decision that given that Sabrina Walker,”Was a person of common authority over the residence, her consent to the search is an exception to the requirement for a warrant.”

Conrad ruled that, “Officers observed lithium batteries and several pipes in plain view, additionally Kentucky courts have held that plain smell falls within the plain view doctrine,” Conrad wrote. “Given the evidence observed in plain sight and smell, the officers had probable cause to believe that a meth lab was present and an immediate danger to the officers and those in the home. Immediate search and seizure is necessary in order to avoid risk of danger…meth is an inherently dangerous act that by its nature gives rise to exigent circumstances.”

The Commonwealth Attorney’s offer stipulated that Walker plead guilty to possession of a controlled substance, 1st offense, a class d felony, five years for possession of a meth precursor, a class d felony, offenses will run consecutive for a total of 8 years. Walker’s plea deal includes his sentence will be probated for a period of five years, he must attend and complete a court approved drug treatment program and pay $155 in court costs.

Additionaly, according to the plea deal, Walker must not have any new offenses, probation violations, any missed, diluted or positive drug screens.

If Walker is convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, his probation will be voided with full revocation without the possibility of shock probation.