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Man pleads guilty, gets 40 years for Christmas 2007 murders in Cherokee County

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Posted at 5:40 PM, Mar 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-28 19:13:00-04

A man suspected of killing a couple nearly 12 years ago pleaded guilty today in Cherokee County District Court to amended charges of second-degree murder.

Walker killed Jack and Elaine Denney in Locust Grove. They were found by a family member on Christmas Day 2007.

"One of the biggest mysteries in Cherokee County was solved today," District 27 District Attorney Jack Thorp said.

Walker admitted he shot the Denneys while relatives of the victims listened in the courtroom, Thorp said.

He has been sentenced to 40 years for the murders.

Walker already is in prison serving time for unrelated federal convictions. After the sentences in those cases are complete, Walker will begin his murder sentences, records show.

Records show Walker’s attorney earlier this month filed a notice of intent to raise the insanity defense.

Years after the couple died, a tip to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation led to a multicounty grand jury subpoena, authorities say. A key witness came forward and two first-degree murder indictments were announced in March 2018, which 2 News For You covered. Those were amended to second-degree murder when Walker pleaded guilty on Thursday.

"The solving of these cold case homicides, and the delivery of justice for the families, makes my job the best in the whole world," Thorp said. "What a great day for justice."

Thorp says with the previous sentences and the newest one, the 33-year-old convicted murderer will spend close to the next 50 years in prison.

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