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
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
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
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 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
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
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.