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Gay senior’s murderer gets 25 years

Less than a year after the grisly stabbing death of retired CBC technician and Cabbagetown resident Harley Walker, a Mississauga man has been convicted of second-degree murder in connection with Walker’s death.

On Sep 1 David Kenton Reid, 46, pled guilty in a Toronto courtroom to second-degree murder. Reid received a sentence of 25 years with a mandatory 17 years before any possibility of parole.

In sentencing Superior Court Judge David Watt said that it is “unexplained and inexplicable” why such “a well-educated man, with solid family support and no criminal record, would suddenly take a knife to Harley Walker.” Watt added that Reid’s behaviour after the murder was “bizarre” and it “added to the gravity of the crime” that Reid hid the body. Reid received the maximum sentence for second-degree murder.

“It was a great outcome,” says Det Sgt Pauline Gray, who worked the case for Toronto police alongside Det Ian Briggs since Walker’s Oct 13, 2006 disappearance. Gray calls the rapid disposition and decisive outcome of the case “awesome.”

Gray says she worked closely with the crown and the defence as well as with Walker’s family and friends to bring about a quick disposition of the murder case “with none of the trauma of testimony” of Walker’s friends and with no reduction in sentence. Reid was originally charged with first-degree murder.

Walker, who was 72 at the time of his death, met Reid on a gay chat site and met with him over a period of several months in coffee shops and at Walker’s upscale Cabbagetown home on Sackville Place.

“Wonderful man that he was Walker let his guard down and that proved fatal,” says Gray, adding that gay seniors should be “especially careful and wary of people they meet via the internet.”

Gray says that Reid had targeted Walker for his wealth.

“[Reid] had mismanaged his money and overextended himself… living beyond his means as so many people do these days,” says Gray.

Gray says that Reid, who “was not gay identified,” befriended Walker with the intent of getting ahold of his stock portfolio and cash, but, when money was not forthcoming, “things went from bad to worse” leading Reid tostab Walker to death at Walker’s home.

According to Gray, Reid panicked after killing Walker and, using a rented van, moved his body to the Kawartha Lakes area where Reid buried Walker’s body in a storage box. It wasn’t until seven months later, in May 2007, that Reid told police where the body was buried. It was then unearthed and identified by the Centre for Forensic Sciences in Toronto using Walker’s dental records.

Asked why Reid finally told police where the body was buried and pled guilty to second-degree murder, Gray says that Reid “is a survivalist who knew we would get him.”

Reid was arrested in October 2006 and charged with first-degree murder after police found documents belonging to Walker in Reid’s car and learned of emails sent by Reid to Walker’s bank attempting to claim Walker’s assets. According to court documents Reid cashed two forged cheques of $750 and $2,000 from Walker’s bank account.