Brownsville murderer, career criminal seriously hurt in crash
A notorious career criminal who was imprisoned for killings in 1967 and 1995 and spent time in the federal Witness Protection Program after testifying in a mob-related slaying was seriously injured on Wednesday in a vehicle accident.
Gerald “Snooky” Walls, 66, of Brownsville was ejected from his 2005 Cadillac during a 2:20 a.m. crash on National Pike in Centerville, Washington County, state police in Belle Vernon said.
He was taken with “major injuries” to Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh, where he was listed in serious condition, a hospital spokesman said.
A passenger in Walls' vehicle, Bobbie A. Sergent, 47, of Brownsville, was in serious condition in the same hospital.
State police Trooper Antonio DeMarchi reported that it is believed Walls was driving under the influence of alcohol.
According to police reports, Walls was driving along Route 40 when his car traveled off the north edge of the roadway, continuing west onto a grassy area, where it struck a guardrail.
Police said the impact caused Walls' car to turn onto its side, striking a large traffic sign pole.
Walls has an extensive criminal record dating to his days as a juvenile.
In 1967, when he was 20, he was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Vincent DelVerma, 23, of Allison, Fayette County, on a downtown Uniontown street. He was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.
In 1997, Walls pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, avoiding a murder trial for the Oct. 2, 1995, death of Tribune-Review contract carrier George Mikolowsky, 46, of Uniontown.
Mikolowsky was killed in the parking lot of the Jackson Farms Dairy Store in Redstone, Fayette County, in a dispute over a car, according to court documents.
Walls admitted punching Mikolowsky once in the face, causing him to fall backward and strike his head on a concrete parking barrier, records indicate.
Under the plea, Walls was sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.
Since being released from prison in 2007, Walls' record shows one driving under the influence of alcohol conviction in Fayette County in 2011.
He spent time in the Witness Protection Program after testifying against William “Codfish” Bricker in the 1978 drug-related shooting death of Gary “Stretch” DeStefano, 28, of Monessen in Pittsburgh's Market Square and three defendants in other cases.
He served three years in prison for counterfeiting and 18 months for selling cocaine in the early 1980s.
Walls' longtime attorney, Jack Connor of Uniontown, declined comment.
Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL coaches weigh in on Polamalu’s legacy
- Hit sends Penguins’ Letang to hospital
- Leadership Butler County aims to benefit community with pavilion project
- Mt. Lebanon native, Iraq war hero’s action goes unrewarded
- Starkey: Next frontier for Steelers offense
- Norwin High School health teacher charged with selling heroin
- Priest rose above illness to love, inspire
- Downie’s goal, fight spark Penguins to win over Coyotes
- Ross woman makes poetry of moments big and small
- Shortfalls sabotage promise of a union retiree’s pension
- Pirates notebook: Polanco’s power outburst a matter of timing