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