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Soldier accused of killing his wife and a New York state trooper, police say

By Avi Selk Washington Post

A U.S. Army soldier killed his wife and a New York state trooper outside the infantryman’s home near the Canadian border on Sunday night, according to police.

Joel Davis – a husband and father who had been with the New York State Police for four years – was called to the home in Theresa, N.Y., after someone reported gunshots about 8 p.m.

Police said Justin Walters, a 32-year-old active duty soldier stationed at Fort Drum, had killed his wife, Nichole Walters, 27, at the residence. Police told local reporters that a second woman who lived nearby was shot too, but would recover.

As Davis approached the home – a double-wide trailer off a county road, according to WWNY-TV – Walters shot the trooper once and killed him, police said.

When more troopers arrived, Walters put down his gun and surrendered to them, police told WWNY.

Spectrum News showed troopers leading Walters, shirtless and shoeless, into LeRay Town Court, where he was expected to be charged with two counts of murder.

But the hearing had to be delayed until Wednesday, the outlet reported, because Walters failed to answer the judge’s questions.

“I’m not asking you whether or not you’re guilty of this charge,” the judge tells him in courtroom video. “I’m simply asking you whether or not you understand why you’re here.”

“I do not, sir,” Walter replies.

He had no lawyer, Spectrum reported. The Army did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Davis, who hailed from Evans Mills, N.Y., and died at age 36, left behind a wife and three children, according to state police.

“The entire New York family grieves today for Trooper Joel Davis, who was shot and killed in the line of duty,” New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement.

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