'Alumni mentor' sentenced in Jan. school shooting

Posted: June 22, 2014

A former Delaware Valley Charter High School student was sentenced Friday to six to 23 months in prison for his role in January in the wounding of two students when a gun went off at the North Philadelphia school.

Donte Walker, 19, had admitted getting the gun from a hiding spot and delivering it to a friend, who had the weapon when it discharged.

Walker's sentence by Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Erdos was recommended by the prosecutor and the defense lawyer, who both described Walker as a promising young man who did not think through the consequences of what he did.

Assistant District Attorney Paul Goldman said that the victims - each was wounded in the arm - are recovering, and that both knew and liked Walker and had forgiven him.

Still, Erdos did not immediately parole the 19-year-old, who has been in custody since Jan. 20, as requested by defense lawyer Jack McMahon.

"You'll be paroled July 5," Erdos told Walker. "July Fourth is Independence Day, and I want you to think about what your freedom means to you and to those two people who were shot."

Once released, Walker will be on three years' reporting probation and must perform 30 hours of community service in each of those years.

The Jan. 17 shooting at the charter school, at 5201 Old York Rd. in Logan, stunned the 700 students, staff, and community, and resulted in an overhaul of security there.

The incident happened about 3:30 p.m. in the gym as a basketball game was in progress. An 18-year-old female student and a male, 17, were hit by the same bullet.

Walker was a 2013 graduate of the school who had been asked back to counsel students as an "alumni mentor" and had guest access to the building.

Police said that, after the shooting, a school security video showed Walker handing what appeared to be a black handgun to 17-year-old Raisheem Rochwell, whom police charged as the shooter.

Goldman said Rochwell - who like Walker had no prior criminal record - apparently feared being attacked again by a group of teens as he walked home.

Goldman said Rochwell asked Walker to get the gun for him and told him where to find the weapon.

After Walker delivered the gun, he left and was not present when it went off.

Rochwell was adjudicated delinquent as a minor and is serving a two-year term in a juvenile facility.

Walker, of Ogontz, pleaded guilty May 27 to carrying a firearm in public, possessing a weapon on school property, and reckless endangerment.


jslobodzian@phillynews.com

215-854-2985 @joeslobo

www.inquirer.com/

CrimeandPunishment

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