Man given 2 years for dumping teen’s body
A Fort Wayne man who helped dump the body of a teenager who died at the home of another man in 2016 was ordered Wednesday to spend two years in prison.
Christopher T. Walker, 29, admitted this month that he helped Scott Tindall wrap Marcie Lynn Ward’s body in sheets, carpet, garbage bags and duct tape before dumping the girl’s body in an alley in the 3300 block of Wayne Trace. Tindall, 56, who died last year, told Walker he awoke to find the teen dead next to him in November 2016.
Walker was sentenced Wednesday in Allen Superior Court on a charge of moving a body from the scene of a violent or suspicious death. He apologized to the girl’s family and said he was doing drugs at the time of the crime.
“I wasn’t in the right state of mind,” Walker said. “I wasn’t necessarily thinking clear.”
Lynn Ward, the girl’s mother, said after he was sentenced that she appreciates Walker taking responsibility for his actions. Still, she struggles to deal with her daughter’s death.
“I’m on medication every day,” she told Walker and Judge Wendy Davis. “I can’t sleep.”
Police found Ward’s body on Nov. 26, 2016. Walker was charged in March of this year, after police got a tip that Walker had talked about helping someone move a body.
Court documents say Walker told that person that Tindall said the teen overdosed on heroin laced with cocaine.
The Allen County coroner’s office said the cause of Ward’s death was blunt force injuries to her head, mouth and face, but the manner in which she died has not been determined. Although Walker admitted to moving Ward’s body, no one has been charged with killing her.
Davis, who frequently presides over drug cases, said she often sees the power the substances have to destroy families and communities.
“My hope, Mr. Walker, is when you do get out, you find another road,” she said.
He is serving five years behind bars at the Westville Correctional Facility on separate charges of burglary and corrupt business influence. The sentence for moving the body will be served at the same time as the corrupt business influence charge, according to a plea agreement.
Prosecutors agreed to drop a misdemeanor charge of failing to report a dead body as part of the agreement.
Walker’s projected release date is April 5, 2021, according to the Indiana Department of Correction website.
Schannon Wilder, who described herself as a family friend and sat with Ward’s family in court, said Walker appears to have “some sort of conscience.” He also could have made different choices, she said.
“He didn’t have to pick up the body,” Wilder said. “He didn’t have to move it. She was only 17. She didn’t deserve what happened to her.”