Originally created 09/23/04

Wife is denied bond in death

WAYNESBORO, Ga. - While the family of John Clint Walden looked on, a Superior Court judge denied bond for his pregnant wife, accused of killing her husband and concealing his death for days.

Judge Bernard J. Mulherin issued the order at the Burke County Courthouse denying bond to Amy Elizabeth Walden, 27, charged with murder and concealing the death of another.

In late August, authorities found Mr. Walden, 31, dead from a bullet wound inside his home in the 100 block of Nita Walden Road near Blythe.

Authorities said that he had been dead for several days while his 7-year-old stepdaughter and 3-year-old son remained in the home.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Troiano told Judge Mulherin that Mrs. Walden changed her statement about her husband's death to Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents many times.

Mr. Troiano said Mrs. Walden first told investigators that her husband committed suicide while she witnessed it, but later said she came home and found that he had killed himself.

Mr. Troiano told Judge Mulherin that Mrs. Walden covered and hid her husband's body, and it appeared to investigators that she had tried to load it into the back of her automobile in order to dispose of it but wasn't able to.

Mr. Troiano said Mrs. Walden presented a flight risk, and there was "some concern" for her unborn child. He said Mrs. Walden is about eight months' pregnant, and her only family is in the Atlanta area.

Peter Flanagan, Mrs. Walden's defense attorney, countered that his client had ties to the community, had lived in Burke County for eight years and her parents lived in nearby Jefferson County.

"She has never been any threat to her children," he told Judge Mulherin, adding that his client would be willing to be put under house arrest as a condition of her bond.

Family members had prepared a statement that they wished to read before the judge; however, Judge Mulherin issued his order before it could be read.

After court, as the Walden family consoled one another in the hallway, the deceased man's father, J.C. Walden, said he was satisfied with the ruling.

"I think he did the right thing," he said. "I don't think it's safe for her to be out."

"It's still hard to understand how she could do what she'd done."

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.


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