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Son pleads guilty in Oregon murder-for-hire case in which dog was the target

David James Walkoski.jpgDerek James Walkoski.jpgAn Oregon City man pleaded guilty to shooting a dog that belonged to his father’s neighbor.

Police say the father paid for the hit.

For his involvement in what authorities described as a murder-for-hire, Derek James Walkoski, 31, will spend 28 months in prison for shooting and killing Paws, a black Lab that lived next door to his father in Canby.

In a hearing in Clackamas County, Walkoski told Circuit Judge Robert R. Selander that he shot the dog with a rifle, the Oregonian reported.

“You just shot him?” Selander asked.

“Yes,” Walkoski said.

“Any reason?” Selander asked. “Any justifiable reason?”

“No, your honor,” Walkoski said.

Walkoski pleaded guilty to first-degree aggravated animal abuse. He also pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and recklessly endangering another.

Paws’ owner, sitting in the back row of the courtroom gallery, did not address the court.

Walkoski’s father, David James Walkoski, 61, whose trial is set for June 18, hasn’t admitted to any involvement in the killing of Paws.  But he was arrested during the court hearing when prosecutors informed the judge he, while free on bail, pointed his finger at Paws’ owners and simulated firing a pistol — despite an existing no-contact order issued by the court. He was charged with contempt of court and booked into the Clackamas County Jail, with bail set at $50,000.

According to police reports, the Walkoskis’ neighbor returned to his home in April 2012  to find his dog dead. Police said the father paid his son to kill the animal, but did not offer a motive for the shooting.

(Photos: David James Walkoski (left) and his son, Derek James Walkoski)


Comment from smoketoomuch
Time May 9, 2013 at 10:37 am

Nice pair, glad they’re both incarcerated.
R.I.P. Paws.

Comment from Diane McCornack
Time May 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

Idiots, the world is full of them. It makes you afraid to leave your pets unattended under any circumstance. If it’s not a neighbor, a random stranger or the police our dogs are safe these days.

Comment from Jeana Pettit
Time January 6, 2014 at 6:25 am

I do not condone the killing of the dog, but I was also a neighbor of the dog that was killed. His owners were very irresponsible and inconsiderate of there neighbors. they would chain the dog and leave knowing that he barked non stop until they came home. This was a daily occurance and most times they would not return until 9:00 or 10:00 at night. The Colemans were asked to get a bark collar for the dog but would not get one. It is very sad that Paws spent 7 years chained to the back porch barking and annoying neighbors.I would call that animal abuse also.