OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - More than a dozen letters written to U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett asked for leniency when sentencing Scott Walker on fraud and conspiracy charges this week. They were written by relatives, and people who have done business, political, and charitable work with Walker. They came from ministers, Walker's junior high school principal, even his own mother.
Most everyone mentioned his continuing recovery from a small airplane crash in March 2011, his charitable endeavors and strong work ethic, and his love for family - both his wife and sons, and his parents.
One letter that stood out came from former Gulfport mayor Brent Warr. You'll remember in 2009 Warr was charged with FEMA fraud, and took a plea deal to avoid jail time. He was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay nearly $10,000 in restitution.
He wrote about working with Scott Walker in the days and months after Hurricane Katrina. He said he came to know Walker through his work with the Office of Gulf Coast Rebuilding at the United States Department of Homeland Security.
"Your honor, I can tell you first hand that what Scott Walker and his father Bill along with the rest of their family have lived thru during the last 2 years has been horrifying, humiliating and forever life changing. If you can find leniency in your heart for them it will certainly not be wasted. I believe Scott will follow all dictates handed to him to his respectful best," Warr wrote.
But the most moving letter had to be from Walkers wife, Trinity, who wrote it on behalf of their sons: 20-month-old Wren, and three-week-old Max.
"We won't have another chance to watch Max take his first steps, see Wren start pre-school and we won't have another chance to celebrate birthdays," she wrote. "I do not know how I would explain to them where Daddy was each morning when it came time to have breakfast and leave for day school if he were not here with us."
Scott Walker will miss a few of those milestones while serving his 18-month sentence. He faced up to 10 years in prison, five for each of the two counts against him.