GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A coast man, sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping, and drowning a teenage girl, 25 years ago, wants his death sentence overturned. The first part of that hearing was Monday. Nearly eight hours and seven testimonies later, the judge decided to reconvene for the second part of Alan Dale Walker's hearing, after Labor Day.
"It's been treacherous to say the least, and I think we've got to come back, I guess September. I don't know if I'm going to make it to September," said the victim's mother, Sheila Edwards.
Sheila Edwards' daughter, Konya Edwards, was raped and murdered in 1990 when she was just 19 years old. Almost 25 years later, the man charged with that crime, Alan Dale Walker, wants his death sentence overturned.
"I've worked all my life to pay for him to eat sleep, have free food, free time, have conjugal visits and it's time for him to die," said the victim's cousin.
Walker's attorneys called seven different witnesses to the stand, including his mother, half siblings, and aunt. Many of them talked about his troubled childhood, but the victim's family doesn't believe this new testimony should matter.
"He was guilty 25 years ago and we're still facing this today, 25 years later. And now he's got six more months before we even get to hear another verdict. It's really upsetting," said a close family friend.
This isn't the first time Walker has tried to get his death sentence overturned. He lost one post-conviction round before the Mississippi court. Walker was scheduled for execution back in 1997, but a federal judge in Jackson issued a stay.
"My family is suffering. I can't believe he's still here. He shouldn't have no rights. What rights did my daughter have? All her rights were taken away when he killed her," said Sheila Edwards.
The reason for this appeal? Alan Dale Walker claims he received ineffective counsel during the sentencing phase of his original trial.