Kevin McGregor: 1st degree murder charge in Todd Walker case, death penalty on table? (62)

Update: Kevin McGregor has now been charged with first-degree murder in relation to the shooting of University of New Hampshire football player Todd Walker this past Friday -- and the case is on a very fast track, with a preliminary hearing slated for April 25. In the meantime, the tragic case has spawned a debate about the death penalty.

As reported by the Boulder Daily Camera, which has done a stellar job covering this case, district attorney Stan Garnett floated the possibility of a death-penalty prosecution shortly after McGregor's arrest. That would be a highly unusual tack in Boulder, which saw its last death-penalty case three decades ago, in 1981. And the American Civil Liberties Union's Boulder branch has already come out publicly against such an approach, with the organization's Judd Golden terming it "the ultimate denial of civil liberties."

Look below for our previous coverage.

Update, 10:15 a.m. March 22: According to an arrest affidavit, Kevin McGregor confessed to Boulder Police that he shot and killed University of New Hampshire football player Todd Walker during a robbery attempt early Friday. Moreover, the document quotes him as saying that he hid the gun used in the shooting at the Which Wich sandwich shop where he worked.

That's not all. The Boulder Daily Camera, which obtained the affidavit, also shares the name of Walker's companion, CU student Elizabeth Roach, and outlines the scenario that led to such a tragic ending.

The paper reports that Roach didn't initially take McGregor's demand for money seriously. The affidavit states: "Roach advised that the suspect continued to demand she give him all of her money, but she told him he was a 'joke,' that 'this was Boulder,' and 'I'm not giving you my money.'" She also tugged down the bandanna he wore over his face.

McGregor allegedly responded by firing a shot in the air, to which Roach responded by grabbing Walker's arm and trying to walk away. But no such luck: A pushing match between the men followed, after which McGregor is said to have shot Walker in the chest. The gunman subsequently stashed his weapon at the sandwich shop, along with a backpack containing extra ammo.

Not that he needed any more bullets. The damage was already done -- and it was permanent.

The Vail Daily shared this statement from the Walker family:

Although the Walker family truly appreciates the many offers of assistance, food and flowers, they request that donations in Todd's memory be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado.

Donations can be mailed to the foundation at 7951 E. Maplewood Ave., No. 126, Greenwood Village, CO 80111, or made by credit card over the phone at 303-750-9474 (or 800-366-9474). Please make checks to 'Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado' with 'Todd Maclain Walker' in the memo line. For all donations made in Todd's name, an acknowledgment will be sent to the donor and a card will be sent to Todd's family advising them of the donor's gift.

Todd Maclain Walker was a handsome, athletic, vivacious and bright individual who worked hard to live his life to the fullest and made having fun his life's mantra. Todd would have wanted his memorial to bring joy and happiness to someone who needed it. The family believes it would have been Todd's wish to have his 'Celebration of Life' help create magic and joy in the lives of children fighting a life-threatening medical condition.

Said celebration will take place at 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow at the Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon. Page down for our earlier coverage.

Update, 9:01 a.m. March 21: The murder of University of New Hampshire football player Todd Walker, allegedly by sandwich-shop employee Kevin McGregor, has shocked Boulder, due largely to the fact that the crime took place during a street robbery gone awry. But City of Boulder spokeswoman Sarah Huntley doesn't believe locals have any reason to panic.

Huntley, who also spoke to us this morning about a delay in closing medical marijuana dispensaries whose license applications were denied, emphasizes that "the City is certainly very proud of the police department's work in this case. It was exhausting and tireless, but they weren't going to let go until they had some resolution for the Walker family."

Nonetheless, she argues that "this is a very unusual occurrence in the City of Boulder. It's a very unfortunate act of violence, but not something that defines our city, by any means."

Indeed, she wants Boulderites to feel comfortable going out at night -- but she encourages them to think through their actions in advance.

"Like in any community, we ask people to be aware of their surroundings," she says. For example, "it's always a good idea to travel with another person late at night or in the early morning hours -- although, in this case, the victims we're talking about followed that safety precaution."

The bottom line? "We believe our city is safe, and we're very proud of our police department and our citizens for keeping a watchful eye over the community."

Look below for our earlier coverage:

Update, 6:50 a.m. March 21: The man who allegedly shot and killed a twenty-year-old subsequently identified as University of New Hampshire football player Todd Walker on University Hill was wearing an Analog snowboarding jacket -- a distinctive piece of apparel that led police to Kevin Michael McGregor, 22, who was arrested for the crime late Friday night at the Which Wich sandwich shop where he worked.

According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Walker is originally from Edwards and was back in Boulder on spring break. Supposition among members of his family is that he protected the woman he was with during a robbery attempt. The Boulder Police Department earlier revealed that the woman (ID'd as a 21-year-old CU student- had pulled a bandanna from the face of the thief, precipitating two gunshots, one of which fatally wounded Walker.

Look below to see the official BPD press release, a larger look at McGregor's booking photo and a Daily Camera video assembled prior to the arrest, followed by our previous coverage.

Boulder Police Department release:

Boulder Police arrest suspect in connection with fatal shooting

Late last night, Boulder Police arrested Kevin Michael McGregor (DOB 10/03/88) in connection with the fatal shooting of Todd MaClain Walker (05/01/90) during the early morning hours of Friday, March 18, 2011 in the University Hill area.

McGregor faces three felony charges: Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the First Degree (during the commission of another crime/robbery), and Criminal Attempt - Aggravated Robbery.

"We are very pleased to have quickly identified and removed a dangerous individual from our community. My thanks to all who worked so tirelessly on this case and to the community for all of their assistance," said Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner.

McGregor is currently being held in the Boulder County Jail without bail.

Original item, 9:15 a.m. March 18: Experts tell us that when being robbed, cooperation is the best course of action. But according to the Boulder Police Department, things went down differently on University Hill in Boulder early this morning, when the unmasking of a suspect led to the fatal shooting of a twenty-year-old man.

The BPD says a couple being robbed early this morning confronted the suspect, with the female victim managing to remove a bandanna he wore over his face. He responded by firing two shots, the second aimed at the woman's male companion. He died shortly thereafter.

Look below to see the complete police release, a composite sketch of the suspect, a photo of a jacket like one the man is said to have worn, and an interactive graphic showing the 10th and Pennsylvania area near where the crime took place; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."

Boulder Police Department release:

Boulder Police investigating overnight shooting

A 20-year old male is dead after an apparent attempted robbery turned into a fatal shooting on the University Hill. The victim is not a student at the University of Colorado, but was a Colorado resident.

A male and a female were walking home to her house at about 2:00 a.m. after attending parties on the Hill when they were confronted by another male at 10th and Pennsylvania. A black bandanna was covering the suspect's face.

Police believe it was initially an attempted robbery, but after a verbal and physical confrontation in which the female victim was able to pull the bandana off the suspect's face, the male suspect pulled out a gun and fired one shot into the air. He then fired a second shot which struck the 20-year-old male. The male victim was transported to Boulder Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The Boulder County Coronor's identification of the victim is pending notification of relatives. The female was not injured and has worked with police to develop a composite sketch of the suspect.The sketch is attached.

Police are asking the public for help in finding the suspect, who was last seen running from the area. He is described as:

• White male

• 5'10" - 6' tall, medium build

• Blondish-brown hair

• Clean-shaven

The suspect was possibly wearing blue jeans, and a black "Analog" brand snowboard jacket with the initials "AG" displayed prominently over the left breast. Attached is a photo of a jacket similar to the one the suspect was wearing.

Police have been canvassing the neighborhood and talking to witnesses and friends of the victims. Investigators would like to talk to anyone who might have been in the area and who may have witnessed the confrontation, and are asking nearby merchants who use video surveillance equipment to contact the police department.

Prior to the confrontation and shooting, both victims attended a number of parties on the Hill, one of which was at 1555 Broadway. Detectives are asking anyone who attended that party and who might have seen the suspect or taken photos or video to contact the Boulder Police Department. It's possible that the suspect may have attended the same party as the victims.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Boulder Police Department's Detective Bureau at 303-441-1974. Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted via the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimeshurt.com. Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.

View Larger Map

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Chrisopher Wells: Alleged ringleader in Amara Wells, Bob Rafferty murders hits court (56, 57)."

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