Conway attorney pleads guilty to murder-for-hire plot

Irby Ezell Walker (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Irby Ezell Walker (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

Conway, SC - CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - A Conway attorney accused by investigators of hiring a hit man to commit a murder has pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in a Charleston court.

Irby Ezell Walker, 58, of Conway, was arrested and charged with a solicitation of a murder in September 2009. Investigators alleged Walker tried to hire someone to kill Conway attorney Doug Thorton and his two employees.

With his wife and two children looking on, a judge sentenced Walker to 10 years on the solicitation charge. Walker, according to the judge, must serve a mandatory three years before parole is considered.

"He has his reasons for doing what he did," said Doug Thornton, a fellow attorney and the victim in the murder for hire plot. "I don't know what they are to this day."

According to an incident report, Thorton learned Walker had made threats to have him killed in the past. Former business dealings upset Walker enough that he was afraid the attorney would follow through on the threats.

During the course of the investigation, the informant set up a meeting with Walker, during which Walker paid for part of the murders. The remaining sum would be paid following Thorton's death.

The men have known each other since 1982. Thornton said he shared an office with Walker until 2006.

Walker was arrested and booked into the J .Reuben Long Detention Center on a $100,000 bond.

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Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.