Knoxville woman gets shorter sentence for deadly botched robbery
A woman previously facing a maximum sentence of life in prison for second-degree murder pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to third-degree murder for her part in the deadly botched robbery of a North Braddock man in 2015.
Destiny Walker, 19, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 80 to 160 months in prison Wednesday by Common Pleas Judge Randal Todd, according to the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office. That's a sentence of roughly 6 1⁄2 to 13 years.
Walker was 16 in September 2015 when she and Jordan Johnson, then 18, walked into the Ridge Avenue home of Harry Vaughn with the intent to rob him. Vaughn, 65, emerged from the bathroom when he heard a commotion and tried to wrestle a gun from the teens. He was shot twice in the chest.
Johnson pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in January 2017 and was sentenced to 17 1⁄2 to 40 years in prison as part of the plea agreement. Walker opted for a non-jury trial. Common Pleas Judge David Cashman last year found her guilty of second-degree murder — which would have netted her a mandatory maximum sentence of life in prison.
Her attorney, Milton Raiford, filed a petition for relief, arguing that it would be unjust for Walker to face a term so much more extreme than Johnson's. Cashman agreed, vacating the verdict, recusing himself and sending it back to square one.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer.