- Associated Press - Thursday, July 10, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The former girlfriend of a man sentenced to life in prison for killing a Utah police officer last year said in her first media interview that she forgives Timothy Troy Walker for shooting her but not for shooting the officer.

Traci Vaillancourt told KSL-TV in a phone interview from the Salt Lake County Jail on Wednesday that her longtime relationship with 34-year-old Walker was “a mess” marked by drug use and “years of physical, mental and emotional abuse.”

Walker was sentenced to life in prison without parole Tuesday after pleading guilty to aggravated murder in the death of 32-year-old Draper police Sgt. Derek Johnson last September.

Prosecutors said that after shooting Johnson, Walker shot Vaillancourt, 35, in the back and then shot himself in the jaw.

Vaillancourt is charged with obstruction of justice after authorities said she gave misleading statements about what happened during the September shooting. She has not yet entered a plea and is participating in a drug treatment program behind bars.

Vaillancourt told KSL (https://bit.ly/1sCu81n) that she had been in a relationship with Walker since both were 12. They have a 6-year-old daughter, she said.

She read a letter she had previously written to Walker, where she told him she forgave him for “years of physical, mental and emotional abuse.”

“I forgive you for putting the bullet in my back that almost took my life,” she read from the letter.

But Vaillancourt said she refused to forgive Walker for Johnson’s death.

“I never would have ever imagined him doing something like this, ever,” Vaillancourt said.

She said she prays for Johnson’s family every night and has offered her apologies, but it isn’t enough, she said.

Johnson had stopped on Sept. 1 to investigate a disabled vehicle in the Salt Lake City suburb of Draper, authorities said. Walker was standing outside of the car along with Vaillancourt, when Johnson drove up in his patrol car and lowered his passenger-side window, police said.

That’s when Walker shot Johnson in the chest, officials said. He then turned the gun on Vaillancourt and himself, prosecutors said.

Toxicology reports show Walker had methamphetamine in his blood at the time.

Vaillancourt said that even if she understood Walker’s actions, it wouldn’t excuse them.

She said the couple had spent all of their money on prescription pain drugs, and said she became addicted to the medications after her diagnosis of a rare blood disorder that causes her body to swell.

Vaillancourt said she’s stopped using drugs and plans to have a new life without Walker, and said “I don’t want to have anything to do with him anymore.”


Information from: KSL-TV, https://www.ksl.com/

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