‘A big shock’: Firefighter’s children speak out after wife, 3 others indicted in father’s murder

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CLEVELAND-- The children of a Cleveland firefighter, who was killed in a "murder for hire" spoke out Monday night, just hours after the firefighter's wife and three others were indicted on murder charges.

All four suspects are now behind bars for allegedly taking part in what prosecutors say was a plot to kill him. All four are charged with aggravated murder and other charges and prosecutors say a juvenile is also expected to be charged at a later time.

"Dad was just a great dad. He was a role model, a friend to us. He did so much for me and Chris; he worked four jobs just so that we would be able to travel, so this is very devastating to us," said Walker's 20-year-old daughter, Melody.

"He motivated me to do better, to always push harder in life and no matter what, just keep moving forward," reflected Walker's 16-year-old son, Chris.

Monday, Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty announced that a total of five people were involved in killing Walker, in what McGinty calls a murder-for-hire, allegedly orchestrated by Walker's wife, Uloma Walker-Curry.

"It is just because we were actually very close to Uloma. She was like a second mom to us; she's been in our lives for eight years, so you know, we had no idea. She was part of our support in the beginning, so it's like a big shock," said Melody.

Firefighter William Walker, 45, was shot and killed in his Lampson Avenue driveway.
Firefighter William Walker, 45, was shot and killed in his Lampson Avenue driveway.

Lieutenant Walker was shot to death in the driveway of his home on Lampson Road on Cleveland's east side in November of 2013.

Investigators say Uloma was committing financial fraud in his name.

They say she was afraid he might find out what she was doing and assumed she could use his life insurance to pay debts.

Prosecutors say 44-year-old Uloma asked 21-year-old Chad Padgett, her daughter's boyfriend, and a juvenile to find a hitman to kill Walker.

(Courtesy: Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office)
(Courtesy: Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office)

They say Padgett recruited his cousin, 22-year-old Christopher Hein, who then hired 23-year-old Ryan Dorty to kill Walker.

They say Uloma gave them the money and told them the time and place to commit the murder.

Prosecutors say they also have text messages where they discuss looking for "a ham," which is street slang for a gun.

And after the shooting said, "We gotta body."

One of Uloma Walker-Curry's daughters, Jessica Hall, told us from Oklahoma that she is stunned by her mother's alleged actions. "I'm just really, really hurt to know that my mother was able to do something like this. It's just so upsetting; it's so bad; it's so embarrassing. I don't even have enough words to describe the way I feel right now," Hall said.

"It's just insane because dad was such an amazing person. I don't know why anyone would ever wanna do this to him," said daughter, Melody.

Prosecutors say Dorty is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for an unrelated aggravated robbery, while using a gun.

Both Uloma Walker-Curry and Chad Padgett are being held on one million dollars bond.

The other two defendants have not yet had their first court appearance.

Continuing coverage here

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