Man sentenced to 32 years to life in prison for fatal Central Fresno stabbing

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno County judge on Thursday sentenced Deon Walker to 32 years to life in prison for the murder of a man outside of Central Fresno store.

Last year, a jury found Walker guilty for fatally stabbing Daniel Apodaca in the Food Zombie parking lot.

During the trial, Walker and his attorney claimed he never stabbed Apodaca and it was actually another man. However, police found Walker with a knife that matched up with the wounds the victim had suffered.

RELATED: Jury finds man guilty of second-degree murder in Central Fresno stabbing

Even at sentencing Thursday, Walker's attorney was working hard to get his client a lesser sentence.

"My client has a strike from I believe it's 1995, it is very old. I understand he had some continuing conduct in the interim there. I would ask the court to exercise its discretion and strike that strike," said Richard Esquivel.

Deputy District Attorney Ryan Wells said Walker's past speaks for itself.

"His history clearly shows that he's victimized the community for approximately 20 years and for that reason we'd ask the court to not strike the strike- Mr Walker is not a candidate for that."

The judge agreed with the prosecution and sentenced the longtime repeat offender to 32 years to life in prison. Walker only listened emotionless as the judge told him he had a choice to make that night and he made a bad call.

"Mr. Walker had a chance to be the bigger man, walk away - and Mr. Walker saw an opportunity to strike and while the victim was engaged with others, he stabbed him to death," said judge Timothy Kams.

Already the defense is planning an appeal.

Walker didn't speak at sentencing. His attorney said he was expecting to receive this punishment.
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