FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Glen McCurley pleaded guilty on the third day of his trial Tuesday, August 24 to the capital murder of Carla Walker, 17.
Judge Elizabeth Beach then sentenced him to life in prison.
“This was a lot of healing going on in here today,” said Carla’s brother Jim Walker. “Not just for me and my family but for the whole community.”
“He hung a cloud of suspicion on me for all those years,” said Carla’s then-boyfriend Rodney McCoy about McCurley. “I mean, that’s torment. It’s torment to live that.”
This case drew national attention because it went unsolved for 46 years before advancements in DNA technology linked McCurley to Carla Walker. McCurley was arrested in 2020.
“Because the Fort Worth Police never gave up, justice for Carla has finally come,” Sharen Wilson, Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney said.
Walker was abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled after a Western Hills High School Valentine’s Day dance on February 17, 1974.
Her body was found three days later in a culvert on Pearl Ranch Road near Benbrook Lake.
“This case would not have been solved without the hard work of police,” said Kim D’Avignon, chief of the TCCDA Adult Sexual Assault team. “We appreciate the investigators in the 1970s, who gathered evidence and conducted interviews trying to find Carla’s murderer. We also appreciate the investigators, who, more than 40 years later, were able to use DNA technological advancements to link McCurley to Carla Walker.”
Prosecutors announced in May that they would seek a sentence of life in prison, rather than the death penalty, for McCurley.
“We want to thank everyone for their support in this case. The Walker family got some closure today that so many families need,” Kim D’Avignon said.
“Getting to see this all the way through to closure was very emotional and very gratifying,” said Emily Dixon, assistant chief of the Adult Sexual Assault team. “We are so proud to have had so much support from the community for this case.”