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Man who inspired Three Strikes law may be sentenced under it

The Fresno man who made it his life's mission to keep career criminals in prison for life marks the 20th anniversary of his Three Strikes law, and a new arrest for the man who inspired it.
March 7, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
The Fresno man who made it his life's mission to keep career criminals in prison for life marks the 20th anniversary of his Three Strikes law, and a new arrest for the man who inspired it.

"Now we have an opportunity to do something to at least remove one of them," said Mike Reynolds. "It's taken long enough hasn't it?"

Douglas Walker was one of two career criminals involved in the 1992 murder of Kimber Reynolds. Two years later, her father drove the movement to pass California's Three Strikes law.

But the harshest component of the law has never been applied to Walker. By the time Douglas Walker got released from prison and returned to Fresno last November, his career path was obvious to many. Twelve criminal convictions kept him in jail or prison for most of the last three decades.

An Action News reporter tried to ask him then why the community should feel safe with him out of prison.

"That's what I want to talk to him about, obviously," the reporter said to a sister who answered the door in November.

"There ain't no talking," Walker said.

"He doesn't want to talk to you guys," the sister said. "I mean, he's trying to live his life the best that he can, that's just the way it goes."

One hundred and six days later, Walker was back in jail, accused of abusing a woman with whom he lived.

This time, a law walker inspired could make sure he never walks free again. Prosecutors filed charges under the Three Strikes law -- a law born out of a Fresno tragedy.

"When I called Mike Reynolds to tell him that walker was re-arrested, his voice cracked and I know as a prosecutor, in that second, it all came back," said Fresno County district attorney Elizabeth Egan.

Reynolds authored the Three Strikes law after his 18-year-old daughter Kimber was robbed and killed. Police killed the actual gunman. His accomplice was Douglas Walker, who got a plea deal in the case. By the time he got out, the law he inspired had been implemented.

But when he committed a new felony, a judge chose not to apply Three Strikes. So walker got out, refused to answer our reporter's questions, and put Reynolds ill at ease.

"My greatest fear was during this (106) days that he was out, he would hurt somebody else and in fact, he has," Reynolds said.

The alleged victim didn't want to talk on camera, but she had a large black eye when Action News tracked her down.

Walker appeared in court on Friday, on the 20th anniversary of the Three Strikes law written with him in mind. This time, a conviction will mean he has struck out.

"Maybe we can prevent this from happening to yet another person," Reynolds said. "That's what this is all about."

For Mike Reynolds, it brings full circle a crusade using his daughter's death to save lives.


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