Woman could spent life in prison if convicted in murder of 82-year-old

by: Greg Suskin Updated:


SOUTH CAROLINA - Braquette Walton could spend the rest of her life in prison if she's convicted of a brutal murder that happened in 2011.

Walton is charged in the death of 82-year-old Pauline Cook, who was a resident of Park Pointe Village, an assisted living facility on Highway 5.

In November 2011, Cook reported to police that Walton had stolen several of her checks and forged them in amounts totaling more than $1,200. A few days after she went to police, she was dead.

Police found Cook's body on a bedsheet, halfway in the shower of her room at Park Pointe Village. The water was left running.

After two statements in which she denied being at the assisted living facility that night, Walton eventually confessed to killing Cook, according to the charges.

Walton told police she knew that Cook had called them about the forged checks, so she went to Park Pointe Village, walked through the woods -- behind the facility, so she wouldn't be seen by security -- used her key card to get in, and waited for Cook.

In a statement to police, Walton said she went to Cook's room and told her she wanted to pay the money back, but Cook tried to call police and hit Walton with the phone when she tried to stop her.

Walton said she climbed on top of Cook to stop her from fighting and flailing her arms, and moments later, she didn't have a pulse.

Walton said was afraid and knew she'd be arrested, so she dragged the body into the shower and turned the water on to make it look like Cook had accidentally fallen.

On Monday, police detectives read all three of Walton's statements to the judge without the jury in the courtroom. Judge John Hayes ruled that the jury would be allowed to hear them all when opening statements begin Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors are expected to call dozens of witnesses, including police officers, cellphone company employees, forensic experts, and employees at Park Pointe Village.

The trial is expected to last all week.