Court records show that a U.S. Army soldier charged with killing his wife and a New York State Police trooper once plotted to shoot up his Michigan middle school while a teenager, according to a Michigan news outlet.
MLive.com reported that Justin Walters was 15 and a ninth-grader at Macatawa Bay Middle School in Holland, Michigan, when he and a classmate were accused of compiling a “die or dead list” and planning to shoot people then kill themselves. Another classmate tipped off police to the 1999 plot.
Walters pleaded guilty in family court to conspiracy to carry a dangerous weapon, according to the news outlet, which cited Grand Rapids Press reports.
Now 32, the Zeeland, Michigan, native was charged with murder Monday after New York authorities say he fatally shot his wife, Nichole Walters, and Trooper Joel Davis on Sunday night at the Walters’ home in Theresa, near Fort Drum in northern New York. At his arraignment, he was ordered held without bail in the Jefferson County Jail. His lawyer wouldn’t comment.
The Grand Rapids Press reported that police in the 1999 case said Walters told them he and his then-middle school accomplice wanted to get a gun so they could open fire in the school’s cafeteria before turning the weapon on themselves.
The newspaper also reported that Walters pleaded guilty to destructing property after more than 100 tombstones were toppled at a cemetery in his hometown earlier in 1999.
Walters joined the Army in 2007 and was assigned to a combat brigade of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. Officials at the post said he’s a staff sergeant who has served two combat tours in Afghanistan.
State police said Davis, 36, was responding to reports of shots fired on the Walters’ rural property when he was hit by a single shot. He died about an hour later at a hospital in nearby Watertown. Troopers said Nichole Walters had been shot multiple times in the home’s driveway.
Funeral arrangements are pending for Davis, who joined the state police in 2013 after 10 years with the county sheriff’s department.