You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

Driver of getaway car in fatal Ypsilanti Township robbery to serve nearly 18 years in prison

By Kyle Feldscher

The man accused of being the driver of the getaway car in a drug-related robbery that resulted in the death of an Ypsilanti man will serve at least 17 years and 9 months in prison.

Keywone Jarvis Walker, 23, reached an agreement with Washtenaw County prosecutors to plead guilty to one count of armed robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Police said Keywone Walker, on Nov. 6, drove his brother Willie Walker and James Lester to the Schooner Cove Apartments in Ypsilanti Township, where Willie Walker and Lester robbed Jason Hoover.

Willie Walker pleaded guilty in June to second-degree murder for firing the shot that killed Hoover. He will serve at least 35 years in prison for the murder charge and a felony firearms charge.

Keywone Walker had originally faced a felony murder charge, a felony firearms charge and a charge of carrying a concealed weapon in addition to the armed robbery charges. The murder, firearms and concealed weapons charges were dropped as a part of the plea agreement.

He admitted to agreeing to drive Lester and Willie Walker to the Schooner Cove Apartments, where he parked away from Hoover’s apartment and turned the car's lights off. He said he was aware that Willie Walker had a gun on him and knew that he was going to bring it into Hoover’s apartment.

Keywone Walker also admitted that the three suspects had agreed beforehand that they would rob Hoover of his marijuana.

"What was the discussion?" Washtenaw County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Joseph Burke asked Keywone Walker during Friday's hearing.

“To go in and rob him of marijuana,” Keywone Walker said.

After waiting in the car for Lester and his brother to come back, Keywone Walker said he drove the three of them back to the Village Grove Apartments in Ypsilanti Township, where they divided up the marijuana and money that had been taken from Hoover’s apartment.

Police answering a 911 call went to Hoover’s apartment at about 8:23 p.m. Nov. 6 and found Hoover dead inside an apartment in the 5000 block of Bosuns Way. Hoover had suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest. Hoover was the father of a 1-year-old girl, Makayla.

On his way out of the courtroom, with his feet in chains and his hands bound, Keywone Walker waved to his family and signaled for them to call him later.

Tasha Brandon, the mother of Keywone Walker’s daughter, said it was hard to know he would be serving at almost 18 years in prison. However, she said it was better than the punishments he could have faced — armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery both carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

However, Brandon, of Ypsilanti, said she didn’t know what she and her daughter would do now.

“I’ll just be there for him as best as I can,” she said.

Keywone Walker had already been on probation for a previous conviction of fleeing a police officer. Judge Melinda Morris, who accepted the plea agreement, said he would be in violation of his probation by pleading guilty to the armed robbery charges.

The agreement was reached among Keywone Walker, his attorney Steven Tramontin and Burke.

Keywone Walker will be formally sentenced at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 19.

Kyle Feldscher covers K-12 education for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sat, Sep 10, 2011 : 3:55 p.m.

Honestly this situation is sad. All parts of this situation have lost. The man that was killed lost his life and the family has lost a dear loved one...the 3 men who did the shooting and robbery have lost their freedom (which is basically their lives too), and their families will never see them outside the Prison walls again... As a mother, and a friend of the shooter (that was very hard to admit) my hy heart goes out to the family of the victim, the family of the shooter, and the 2 other men involved. I am still at a lost for words. There isnt anything nice or mean that anyone can say that will bring that man back, there is nothing that can be said to turn back the hands of time. I know for a fact the shooter feels much remorse and granted much of it may be because he is about to serve a minimum of 35 yrs behind this foolish act, but no one won in this situation...its honestly just a sad situation. Four families lost loved ones, 4 men lost a chance at turning things around, and im sure lots of children have lost their father. I know for a fact that the shooters 3 girls(possibly a few more) are going to miss him dearly. This type of thing happens all the time, and is not by any means ever nice to read about! I hate to say this but I sort of blame the judicial system. I blame the men too for their heinous acts as well. But I am sure this is neither of those guys first time in trouble. For sure the shooter stayed in trouble. If they had locked him up years ago for something petty he did. His lesson would have been learned then that he cant get away with things. He would have met men that did crimes like these and cherished his freedom a bit more. Instead he was always handed a slap on the wrist and told to act right...and see what happens. There are many others to blame too but I wont do that, because tempers would definitely roar...


Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 9:58 p.m.

Chris, it would be more helpful for you to argue each point than rant in generalizations.. So for example to start, were they or were they not at the scene? what other propaganda is incorrect?


Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

ann arbor news are racist and because of your lies and propaganda willie walker and keywon walker didn't get a fair trial i'm laughing you guys let people post their vulgar and offensive remarks about my brothers but took down our comments that were not offensive wow


Sat, Sep 10, 2011 : 4:03 p.m.

Chris..your brothers didnt recieve a fair trial...they never went to trial. They both seemed to have accepted plea bargains.


Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

wow you guys took down my mother blog


Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

Good job Steve! This guy was NOT the shooter, involved yes, trigger man, no.

shadow wilson

Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

What a relief! It is truly sickening to see how people will justify such evil.


Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 3:20 a.m.

18 years is not long enough! I'm happy too....pot is not harmful...completely harmless! Never has been and never will be.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 11:27 p.m.

Boy I sure am glad pot is no big deal, and it is harmless. So 3 criminals were involved in killing another criminal


Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 11:44 a.m.

While I agree MJ should be legalized, let's be realistic. Party stores, 7-11s, stop and robs are being hit all the time not just for money but beer and cigarettes too.

Jaime Magiera

Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 1:32 a.m.

What you've said is a misrepresentation of the situation. It's the illegality of marijuana that causes it to be a hot commodity on the black market (see: alcohol prohibition of the 1920s). If marijuana were readily available for purchase by consenting adults, there would be very little need to rob/kill someone over it. How often do you hear of someone robbing a liquor store for the liquor? This situation is certainly tragic, but it could be avoided by the state government allowing the sale of marijuana to adults for medicinal and recreational uses. All this aside, my heart goes out to all affected by this tragedy.


Fri, Aug 26, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

Why bother with laws if the charges are always plea bargined out ? These three planned and killed in cold blood and should be in prison for life. The conviction would have been a slam dunk. You call this justice???

Matt Cooper

Sat, Aug 27, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

And any first year law student will tell you there is no such thing as a "slam dunk" when you go to trial (think Casey Anthony. Those prosecutors thought they had a "slam dunk" as well). Would you rather they take their chances and these people get off and don't serve a minute? Tell that to Mr. Hoover's daughter.