EVERETT, Wash. - Twenty-seven-year-old Erick Nathaniel Walker spoke just twice during a three-minute hearing in the Snohomish County courtroom. He said his name and then he pleaded not guilty to murder and four charges of drive-by shootings.
Walker is accused of shooting and killing Mary Clare Conley as she and five friends walked along a highway in Lake Stevens on June 1. Molly -- as she was known -- was celebrating her 15th birthday. She was a straight-A student at Bishop Blanchet High School and lived in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood.
According to court documents, her murder came in the middle of Walker's drive-by shooting spree across Snohomish County. The other victims suffered property damage. Only Conley died.
Walker denied he killed the teenager and said he did not know her.
Nevertheless, Snohomish County prosecutor Mark Roe charged Walker with premeditated murder. Roe said the law is clear.
"It's not like somebody has to sit at home and think about it for weeks and stew about it and plan it all out," Roe said. "Premeditation merely has to be more than a moment in time."
In Walker's case, he said, that moment came as he pulled the trigger.
Conley's father, John, watched the proceedings. He declined to talk to reporters.
But there were several well-wishers there, including a woman who offered a hug.
He thanked her and added, "Yes, we've got a ways to go."
Previous coverage of Conley's case is linked below.