Judge denies Walker's appeal

File/Staff
Charles Walker

Former Georgia state Sen. Charles W. Walker lost another challenge to the federal conviction that sent him to prison for 10 years.

 

On Thursday, U.S. District Court Chief Judge William T. Moore Jr. issued a 68-page decision that addressed each point and assertion raised by Mr. Walker, who contends that his 2005 conviction resulted from a conspiracy by his political enemies who sought to destroy him and other once-powerful Democrats in Georgia.

Mr. Walker was convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy and tax crimes.

Judge Moore denied Mr. Walker's petition because he failed to present any evidence that his assertions were true. Mr. Walker's claim that he was a victim of selective prosecution was barred because he did not bring the allegation forth on his initial appeal or prove he was entitled to an exception to the rule, Judge Moore ruled. Mr. Walker's claims of ineffective assistance of counsel also failed to convince Judge Moore that Mr. Walker had been unfairly tried and convicted. The evidence against Mr. Walker at trial, the judge noted, was overwhelming.

Mr. Walker, who represented a large section of Augusta for more than 20 years in the state Legislature and served as Senate majority leader until ousted from office temporarily in 2002, was convicted of 127 criminal counts in 2005 while he was a sitting state senator.

His federal trial in Augusta lasted 12 days, during which time the jury heard evidence that Mr. Walker used his political and professional positions to defraud newspaper advertisers, two public hospitals, campaign contributors and contributors to the CSRA Classic charity football event, which he had co-founded a decade earlier.

Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr., who presided over the trial, sentenced Mr. Walker to serve 10 years in prison. He also fined Mr. Walker $150,000 and ordered him to pay $698,000 in restitution.

Mr. Walker can appeal Judge Moore's ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.