Four indicted in murder of Cleveland firefighter

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CLEVELAND- A Cuyahoga County grand jury indicted four people in the murder of Cleveland firefighter William Walker.

Uloma Walker-Curry, 44; Chad X. Padgett, 21; Christopher N. Hein, 22; and Ryan L. Dorty, 23, are charged with aggravated murder, murder, conspiracy and felonious assault. A juvenile is also listed as a co-conspirator.

Walker-Curry, the victim's wife, was arrested on Sept. 8 while Padgett was taken into custody last month.

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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.

On Nov. 3, 2013, Lt. Walker, 45, was shot and killed in the driveway of his house on Lampson Road in Cleveland. According to prosecutors, investigators thought his murder was tied to neighborhood drug dealers, but they later learned Walker's widow planted that idea.

“Cleveland police homicide Detectives Tom Lynch and Joselito Sandoval did a truly remarkable job piecing together this murder-for-hire puzzle to kill a well-respected public servant,” Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in a news release on Monday.

“They overcame false leads the family provided and never stopped pursuing the truth. Because of their tenacity, the murder of Lt. Walker has been solved, and we now know that his killing was the result of pure greed.”

Prosecutors said Walker's wife committed financial fraud in his name and was worried he would find out, so she planned to get his life insurance policy. She asked Padgett, 21, and the juvenile to find a hitman to kill Walker, prosecutors said.

Padgett recruited his cousin, Hein, who then hired Dorty for the hit. According to the prosecutor's office, Padgett supplied the gun and the cash, while providing details on where and when to kill the firefighter.

Police learned a lot about the case through text messages. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office said the suspects messaged each other about finding "a ham," or gun. They even mentioned the exact type of weapon used to kill Lt. Walker. Texts that followed the shooting included, "We gotta body."

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