Originally created 09/29/05

Walker's sentencing date changed



Former state Sen. Charles Walker's sentencing has been pushed back a couple of weeks.

Court records made public Wednesday show his sentencing has been moved to Nov. 28.

The sentencing was postponed at the request of Mr. Walker's attorney, who was scheduled to be out of the country Nov. 14. With the federal prosecutor's acquiescence, U.S. District Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. granted Edward Garland's request.

Mr. Walker was convicted of 127 criminal counts June 3. The U.S. District Court jury found him guilty of conspiracy and mail fraud in his dealings with his newspaper's advertisers, two public hospitals, campaign contributors and the CSRA Classic charity event he founded more than a decade ago.

Within hours of Mr. Walker's conviction, Gov. Sonny Perdue stripped him of the Senate District 22 seat he had reclaimed last fall.

Last week, Augusta attorney Ed Tarver won a special election to fill that seat. He was sworn in Tuesday.

Attorneys with experience in prosecuting and defending people convicted of federal crimes have estimated that Mr. Walker could face five to 15 years in prison.

Mr. Walker might receive a prison sentence at the high end of that range if the judge is convinced he used his position as Senate majority leader in 1995 to obtain a $2.68 million contract with Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Mr. Walker was convicted of eight counts of mail fraud in connection with what the prosecution described as the Grady scheme.

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

The Case


BACKGROUND: Charles Walker, a former state senator and the man once considered a viable candidate for the 2006 governor's race, was convicted June 3 of 127 criminal counts of conspiracy and mail fraud in his dealings with his newspaper's advertisers, two public hospitals, campaign contributors and the CSRA Classic charity event.

DEVELOPMENTS: Since his conviction, Mr. Walker's District 22 Senate seat has been filled by a special election.

WHAT'S NEXT: Mr. Walker will be sentenced Nov. 28.