DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A former Dallas police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to a significantly reduced crime for the 2013 shooting of an unarmed man.
Former Senior Cpl. Amy Wilburn pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless discharge of a firearm.
In 2014, Wilburn became the first Dallas police officer to be indicted for shooting a suspect in more than four decades. She was indicted on a felony aggravated assault charge and faced the possibility of life in prison.
In her plea deal, the former officer will receive 18 months of deferred probation. Wilburn was also required to surrender her peace officer’s certificate.
“I almost died that day,” Kelvion Walker said in court during his victim impact statement. “I thought I was never going to see my family again.”
With trial set for next month, special prosecutor Thomas D’Amore said all sides came to an agreement on the plea.
“The reason it worked out today is because (Walker) approved it and wanted it to go through,” D’Amore said.
In December 2013, Walker, then 19, was a passenger in a suspected stolen car Wilburn and her partner were attempting to pull over. The driver jumped out of the moving car and ran. Walker remained inside with his seat belt on.
Wilburn rushed to the car, which was still moving, and opened the driver-side door, saw Walker in the passenger seat, pulled her gun, and fired one shot. Walker was unarmed. A witness at the scene told investigators Walker also had his hands up when the officer shot him.
The senior corporal was fired by former police Chief David Brown shortly after the December 2013 shooting.
Four months later, Wilburn was charged with felony aggravated assault by a public servant. It was the first time a Dallas County grand jury had indicted a DPD officer in connection with an on-duty police shooting since 1973.
Wilburn posted bond in April 2014 and shortly thereafter started a new career as a licensed x-ray technician, according to the Texas Medical Board.
Walker, meanwhile, has undergone three major surgeries and racked up more than $300,000 in medical bills as a result of being shot in the stomach.
“It’s tough,” Walker told the CBS 11 News I-Team. “It’s real tough, financially, physically, and mentally.”
Wilburn’s guilty plea can be used as evidence in the civil case which is scheduled to go to trial in August.
In the civil case, the City of Dallas is responsible for Wilburn’s legal fees and has so far spent more than $500,000, according to billing records.