Ex-NFL star Walker testifies in Vegas robbery case

Former NFL wide receiver Javon Walker told a Las Vegas jury

Wednesday he was falling-down drunk but remembers a man putting an

arm around his throat from behind and then pulling at his 2-carat

diamond earrings while he was robbed.

The platinum earrings had locks on the back, the former Oakland

Raiders wide receiver told jurors in the kidnapping, battery and

robbery trial of his alleged assailant, Deshawn Lamont Thomas.

“When he pulled it, he actually pulled my ear,” said Walker,

31. “I remember saying, ‘Hold on, I’ll give you everything. I just

don’t want you to rip my ear apart.”’

Walker was never asked to identify Thomas in court. During

questioning by Clark County prosecutor Joshua Tomsheck, Walker said

he never really got a good look at the man sitting behind him in

the vehicle.

But Tomsheck showed the jury video images of a man he identified

as Thomas hovering near the group at the Hard Rock Hotel &

Casino and then getting into a black Range Rover in which the

prosecutor said Walker was later attacked.

Under Tomsheck’s questioning, Walker said he feared for his life

during the June 16, 2008, robbery.

“Here I am in Vegas, I’ve got a lot of money on me,” said

Walker, who had signed months earlier with the Raiders to a

six-year, $55 million contract with an $11 million signing bonus.

“I figured if I don’t cooperate, you know, I’m going to die.”

Walker said he lost a custom diamond-encrusted Jacobs watch and

a platinum and diamond chain necklace in the robbery. He said he

didn’t remember how he ended up out of the SUV, unconscious, with

broken facial bones.

During cross-examination by defense lawyer Betsy Allen, Walker

remembered drinking Grey Goose vodka mixed with lemonade and

spraying pink champagne at a Hard Rock club, Body English.

Defense lawyer Richard Ramos told jurors during opening

statements that Walker’s blood-alcohol level at the hospital was

0.29 percent – more than 3.5 times the legal driving limit.

Walker wasn’t driving. But he had trouble standing. He recalled

during questioning by Allen that he fell down several times while

bowling at an after-hours party in an upstairs suite at the Hard

Rock.

Allen, whose cross-examination resumes Thursday, tried to show

the jury that Walker was too intoxicated to clearly remember the

events that morning, that he gave inconsistent statements to

police, and that his accounts of the robbery have since been shaped

by friends.

Jurors got glimpses of Walker’s jewelry in photographs and

videos Tomsheck showed from various stops Walker and his entourage

of several men and women made club-hopping and gambling before

heading to the Bellagio resort.

Images also show Walker willingly getting into a black Range

Rover just before 6 a.m. at a valet entrance of the Bellagio with

two men he said he didn’t know. Walker said they told him they

would go to an after-hours club.

Instead, Walker told the jury, he realized the short drive was

taking too long.

“I figured I’m in a bad situation,” he said, dressed for court

in a casual dark shirt and white pants – absent any jewelry except

a Gucci watch.

“I knew pretty much that something was going to happen,”

Walker said.

Walker was found unconscious a little after 7:15 a.m. in the

vacant parking lot of an abandoned condominium complex about a

block off the Las Vegas Strip.

In addition to the jewelry, Walker said he lost $5,000 in cash,

a bank debit card, an American Express card and an NFL Bank of

America credit card that he said he used to pay the bills at

several nightclubs he visited that night.

Thomas has pleaded not guilty to charges including first-degree

kidnapping, battery with substantial bodily harm and

conspiracy.

Walker identified Arfat Abdo Fadel, 32, in a photograph as the

man driving the Range Rover in which he was robbed. Fadel has

pleaded guilty to lesser charges and agreed to testify against

Thomas.

Trial is expected to take more than a week.

Walker was a first-round draft pick for the Green Bay Packers in

2002 and also played at Denver before going to Oakland.