Corey Walker, one of the four suspects in Pop Smoke’s murder case, claims he told his accomplice not to fire at the Harlem rapper. Walker, now 20, says he recommended using a flower vase for defense during what became a fatal incident.
According to Rolling Stone, Walker’s attorney Christopher Darden made the claim in a newly filed motion to dismiss the criminal charges against his client, who was 19 when he participated in the 2020 home invasion robbery that left Pop Smoke dead.
Just hours before the crime took place, Walker allegedly scouted the Hollywood Hills home where Pop had been staying. Prosecutors say Walker and his co-defendants returned to the rental property shortly after, and Walker remained in the getaway car as the others broke into the home.
“It is clear from the evidence that [Walker] did not enter the house, was not armed, and did not personally kill the victim. Moreover, the evidence is clear that the defendant did not share the actual killer’s intent to kill,” Darden wrote in the motion.
The attorney also claimed Walker instructed his accomplices to avoid violence during the incident, and “if it became necessary for the suspects to defend themselves, they should use a flower vase rather than shoot someone. It was only after the robbers exited the house and reentered the vehicle that [Walker] learned of the shooting. In response, [Walker] assaulted the shooter.”
Walker and Keandre Rodgers were each charged with murder with the special circumstance allegation that the fatal shooting took place during the commission of a robbery and burglary. Though the charges make Walker ineligible for the death penalty, he is facing up to life in prison.
The other two defendants, who were ages 15 and 17 at the time of the crime, were each charged with one count of murder and robbery. An LAPD detective testified that the 15-year-old suspect had admitted to shooting Pop Smoke three times during the incident; he allegedly made the confession while speaking to an informant while behind bars.
Walker’s trial is expected to begin at the end of 2021 or early 2022. Darden said he and his team are conducting settlement talks with prosecutors.
“We’re just beginning. We’re nowhere near close,” he told Rolling Stone. “God willing, we will perhaps have a resolution soon. We all realize my client didn’t kill anybody.”