CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — A jury has found a man guilty of murder in a hit-and run crash that killed a man and four dogs.
Walden was found guilty of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, hit and run, and of driving under the influence of drugs.
His sentencing is set for June 13.
Prosecutors say Paul Walden is a career criminal who was in a drug-induced stupor on July 16, 2012, when officer say he struck Harrison Long-Randall and his girlfriend Gemily West and her four dogs. Long-Randall initially lost his leg, but died weeks later in the hospital.
Monday’s closing arguments forced the victims’ family to relive the tragedy they’ve been dealing with for nearly two years.
Walden, a self-proclaimed heroin user, admits he was driving his car that night. Prosecutors say what he did deserves a harsh penalty.
“[Walden] was consumed by his own selfishness, his own addiction, his own callousness,” said deputy district attorney Kari Reeve. “All he wants to do is get high.”
Walden recently admitted on the stand that minutes after the deadly accident, he was hoping to score some heroin.
His defense attorney argues Walden doesn’t deserve a murder conviction, because his client wasn’t on drugs and only sleepy after a long cross-country trip.
“He doesn’t know how fast he was going at the time,” said Mike Long.
Long-Randall’s family says they’ll have more to say after the jury reaches a verdict, but for now his sister offered appreciation for the support they’ve received.
“We have confidence in the system and we’ll see what happens from here,” his sister Mary Beth Randall said.