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HONOLULU (AP) — A former Army medic stationed in Hawaii was sentenced Monday to 35 years in prison for the 2014 stabbing of his wife in a case involving porn, sex charges and a love triangle.
Michael Walker, 40, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in September, about a week before his trial was scheduled to begin. He said he arranged for the woman with whom he was having an affair to kill his wife, Catherine Walker, while he was working in the emergency room at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu.
Ailsa Jackson, who committed the killing, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Monday.
In 2015, Jackson pleaded guilty to murder, describing how she stabbed Catherine Walker and then waited a half-hour to make sure she was dead.
Jackson, 29, avoided a mandatory life sentence by helping prosecutors win an indictment against Walker, including providing information about their coded messages to each other, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Brady said Monday.
“Our goal from the very beginning was to hold everyone responsible for Catherine’s death accountable," Brady said.
Catherine Walker's father, Douglas Plotz, said his family supports a lower sentence. “We wholeheartedly forgive her," he said. "I want Ms. Jackson to know that.”
Catherine Walker also forgave Jackson, Brady said. “On the night she was stabbed to death, Jackson asked her if she forgave her," Brady said. “As she was being stabbed, Catherine, replied, yes.”
Under a deal with prosecutors, Michael Walker faced 24 to 30 years in prison. But U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway said she sentenced Walker to a longer term because he orchestrated the killing. Mollway, who agreed to sentence Jackson to a range of 30 to 33 years, said she wanted to make sure Walker's sentence was longer than Jackson's.
“Ms. Jackson wielded the knife that killed your wife," Mollway said. "And that was a terrible, terrible deed. But it does appear to me that you were in control. That she did what she did because you wanted her to. And you knew she had mental health problems.”
After meeting through an online dating site in September 2014, Michael Walker told Jackson he was married and that his "deepest desire" was to have his wife gone, but he couldn't divorce her, prosecutors have said.
Walker told Jackson he couldn't simply divorce his wife because of financial concerns and stood to receive $400,000 in life insurance, Brady said.
They plotted the killing in emails, in person and in text messages where they called each other "daddycakes" and "babygirl," according to Walker's plea agreement.
On Nov. 14, 2014, they met in a military reservation's gym parking lot, where Jackson said she would kill Catherine Walker that night, Brady said.
He described how the two came up with a text messaging code to let Jackson know whether she should enter the home through a window or use a key near the back door. If Michael Walker texted, "good," that would mean use the window and "bad" would mean the key.
Walker texted "bad," Brady said, and at about midnight Jackson walked to the Walkers' house at Aliamanu Military Reservation and found the key, Brady said.
Jackson said in court previously she “went inside and grabbed a knife and went upstairs and stabbed her.”
Walker apologized to his wife's family Monday. "I love Cathy very much and I would do anything if it could bring her back,” he said.
In 2016, a military court found Walker guilty of child pornography charges that surfaced during the murder investigation.
In 2017, Walker was convicted of sexually abusing a child, physically assaulting a child, and wrongfully communicating a threat. He was reduced in rank from sergeant to private, sentenced to 10 years confinement, and received a dishonorable discharge, the Army said.