I-Team: ‘I pray for her,’ Man accused of breaking into 85-year-old’s apartment, punching, killing her, apologizes


Demetrius Walker, 27, charged in April murder in Henderson

Some of the audio in this story and the details provided may be disturbing.

HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) — The 27-year-old man accused of breaking into an 85-year-old woman’s apartment and punching her, which police said caused her death a week later, tells the I-Team he feels his life is over.

Henderson Police arrested Demetrius Walker, who also goes by the name Pharaoh, in late April. He faces several charges in a string of break-ins and an attack on Mary Lacella, who died a week after Walker broke down her door at her apartment in a complex near Sunset Road and Whitney Ranch Drive.

Lacella suffered a brain bleed, extensive head and facial injuries and later cardiac arrest, according to information in Walker’s arrest report.

Walker agreed to speak with the I-Team but denied a request to record the conversation.

“I remember looking through cars, and then I remember knocking on someone’s door and asking if I could crash,” he said about the morning of April 21. “I remember knocking on one door and no one answered, and I remember kicking it in. I heard someone scream. I panicked, turned out and ran.”

Walker had knocked down Lacella’s door, thinking the apartment was empty. He admits he was on drugs at the time.

A grand jury indicted Walker for Lacella’s murder last month. The evidence includes a six-minute 911 call the woman made right after she was severely injured.

“Please help. Somebody got in my house and beat me up,” she tells a dispatcher.

Evidence photos shown to the grand jury include Lacella’s mobility devices and alert necklace. She was badly beaten, but heroically able to speak with the dispatcher and provide vital information.

“So, he was a Black male in his 20s. Do you know what color shirt and pants he was wearing?” the dispatcher asks Lacella. She replies, “Red. Red shirt and blue jeans.”

Police later found Walker’s clothing burnt in a bucket. Witnesses helped identify him by remembering a cross on his face, as well as another tattoo on the left side of his face.

“I pray for her,” Walker said. “I’m sorry to the victim’s family. I pray for them every day. I accept everything I did. I acknowledge it.”

If convicted, Walker faces a first-degree murder charge and the possibility of life in prison due to Lacella’s age.

The I-Team reached out to her family and spoke to a family member who declined to be interviewed.

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