Gulfport man guilty of 1st degree murder, faces life in prison

Gulfport man guilty of 1st degree murder, faces life in prison
Stephen Redmond of Gulfport was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of first degree murder. (Source: Photo Harrison County District Attorney)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A Gulfport man is facing life in prison after being found guilty in the 2017 shooting death of Robert Walters.

Stephen Wayne Redmond, 36, was found guilty of first degree murder after a two-day trial. Judge Roger T. Clark sentenced Redmond to life in prison after receiving the jury’s verdict.

On April 4, 2017, the Gulfport Police Department responded to a shooting at a residence on Skye Court in Gulfport.

As stated in trial testimony, officers found Robert Lee Walters suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest. Walters reportedly struggled to stay conscious, but was able to identify Stephen Redmond as the person who shot him.

Walters was rushed to Garden Park Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. In addition to the statement by Walters, a woman on scene who was later identified as Redmond’s estranged wife, saw Stephen Redmond with the gun prior to the shooting.

During the investigation, the Gulfport Police Department identified an eye witness to the murder who left prior to the arrival of police. The testimony at trial also revealed the incident stemmed from a dispute over drugs and Redmond’s estranged wife.

In the days leading up to the shooting, officials say Redmond left his home and was taken in by the victim, Robert Walters. After a few days, Redmond’s estranged wife came to Walters’ residence to visit and the three began using methamphetamine.

The night before the shooting, Stephen Redmond and his estranged wife got into a verbal fight and Robert Walters asked Redmond to leave his home. On the day of the shooting, Redmond returned to the victim’s home to confront him. “Stephen Redmond testified that he came to the home of Robert Walters to confront Walters about his relationship with his wife,” said Assistant District Attorney Mitch Owen, who prosecuted the case along with Patti Simpson.

On rebuttal, lead investigator Bruce Archebelle testified that in an interview during the investigation, Redmond stated that he went back to the residence to get meth from the victim and never mentioned confronting the victim concerning his wife.

At trial, an eye witness testified that he was visiting the victim on the day of the murder. The eye witness testified that while he was at the victim’s home, Stephen Redmond returned to confront Robert Walters, who was not at home. Walters and Redmond’s estranged wife were not present and had gone to run an errand.

While waiting for them to return, the eye witness spotted Stephen Redmond in the back yard with a rifle. Moments later, Walters returned and the eye witness told him what he saw. During this conversation, Redmond ran inside the house with a .22 caliber rifle, pointed it at Walters and shot him before running away.

Stephen Redmond took the stand and testified that the victim tried to fight for the gun, but it accidentally went off and he didn’t know who pulled the trigger. However, under cross examination by ADA Owen, Redmond admitted he stole the gun out of Walters’s truck and waited in the back yard to confront him.

Additionally, ADA Owen told the jury that the credible evidence produced at trial by the Medical Examiner and an expert from the Mississippi Crime Lab proved that the end of the gun barrel was at least three to four feet away from the victim, and the only person who could have pulled the trigger was Redmond.

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