A newlywed Nigerian woman, 45 year old Uloma Curry-Walker, who was accused of soliciting her firefighter husband’s murder in order to collect $100,000 in insurance money has been convicted of aggravated murder.
Uloma could receive life in prison without parole for the November 2013 murder of her late William Walker, whom she had married just four months prior.Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before coming back with the verdict Friday,
Prosecutors said Uloma was way over her head after running up tens of thousands of dollars in debt when she asked her then-17-year-old daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend to find someone to kill her husband so she could collect the insurance money.
According to court testimony, Uloma gave the boyfriend, Chad Padgett, a $1,000 down payment to carry out the murder. Padgett then contacted his cousin Chris Hein, who initially failed in his attempt to kill Walker. Hein then turned to Ryan Dorty to carry out the murder.
Prosecutors said Dorty ambushed Walker and shot him four times as he returned home from getting fast food that Uloma had ordered.
She and her husband were packing the night he was killed for a move to a house they had purchased outside Cleveland.
The daughter, Padgett, Hein and Dorty testified against Uloma at trial as part of plea deal for their roles in the murder conspiracy. Hein agreed to a sentence of 18 years to life; Padgett 28 years to life; and Dorty 23 years to life. Prosecutors agreed not to seek adult charges against Uloma’s 17 year old daughter due to her age. They only sentenced her to a month in a juvenile detention center.
The daughter testified at trial that her mother told her:
‘No one would believe I would hire a bunch of kids to kill someone when I know people that could.’ Uloma wrote a confession the day she surrendered to police that said she killed her husband because he was abusive.
But a police investigation found that Uloma’s plan to collect the Insurance money was futile because her late husband had not yet changed the beneficiary on the insurance policy from his ex-wife’s name to Uloma’s when he was killed, so it was the ex-wife who received the money, she so desperately wanted.
Sentencing for Uloma is scheduled for August 8.