SCHENECTADY – A 36-year-old man who used a box cutter to slash the face and neck of a woman who he claimed sold him fake drugs was convicted after a three-week trial, Schenectady County district attorney’s officials said Wednesday.
After six hours of deliberations, a jury on Friday convicted Justin Walker, Sr., of first-degree attempted assault, second-degree assault and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, all felonies.
The assault occurred on Oct. 13, 2019, at the Union Inn bar downtown. Walker claimed the victim sold him fake drugs a few days prior.
Walker approached the woman at the bar and asked for his money back. When she declined, Walker left the bar and went to his car parked around the corner, prosecutors said.
Standing at the trunk of his car, Walker changed his clothing and sneakers and put on a ski mask. He then jumped a fence to re-enter the Union Inn bar, waited until the woman entered the outdoor back patio and attacked her from behind.
Walker pulled her head back, slicing her with a box cutter through her mouth, face, and on the neck, prosecutors said. He then jumped the fence to get out of the bar’s back patio.
Video footage from local businesses exposed Walker’s path of travel and documented his attempts to disguise himself, prosecutors said.
Walker then returned after changing his clothing again and watched the woman get into an ambulance, investigators said.
The victim received stitches to her mouth and neck to repair the injuries, which have largely healed.
Armed with a warrant, police later searched Walker’s car and found the handle of the box cutter. It was later determined to contain the victim’s DNA.
The victim and her family watched the jury render their verdict from a remotely televised courtroom since the pandemic limited seating.
Sentencing is scheduled for July 23 in Schenectady County Court. Walker faces a maximum of 15 years in prison and 5 years’ probation.
Walker has already served more than 12 years for a 2008 conviction in Albany for robbing a convenience store clerk with a loaded shotgun, prosecutors said.
The case was prosecuted by Schenectady County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Lorusso. Walker was represented at trial by attorney Tracey Chance. Judge Mark J. Caruso presided.