Man guilty of stabbing wife 40 times in ‘horrifying’ attack sentenced to life in prison

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Austin Walker was tried and convicted last month for attempted murder, aggravated assault and armed burglary after stabbing his wife 40 times in a “horrifying” attack. On Thursday, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

His wife Barbra Walker lost 30-40% of her blood in the stabbing but somehow survived, and on Thursday she delivered a powerful victim impact statement in which she called her husband a “monster.”

She said it will take years for her to process how the father of her four children could have done that to his family, and acknowledged she missed red flags as to his manipulative and controlling nature. Even after his abuse turned physical, she said she stayed with him out of fear.

“He achieved his goal though. I was afraid of him. I walked on eggshells, waiting to do something wrong, and having him blow up again. I really have never met anyone like him before. He was never happy with what he had, and always felt entitled to more and nothing was ever his fault,” she said.

Barbara Walker got a domestic violence injunction against him, but he violated it six times in six weeks. She chided the criminal justice system for not taking her fears seriously and treating it as “just another case in the system.”

Barbara Walker said the physical wounds were bad, but worse was hearing the screaming and pleading of her children while he was stabbing her. She said her children lost a part of their innocence that night.

“It plays like an old silent movie over and over again in my mind. It is like I’m in the audience watching this happen to someone else. It’s not really me he’s standing over, stabbing and telling me, I knew this would happen, and if I loved him, I would have done any of this,” she said. “Then it fast forwards, and the only thing I hear in my mind is my children screaming, begging, and pleading with him as they look over them, huddled together, holding onto each other for dear life.”

She asked the judge to sentence him to life in prison, and went through a very detailed request, asking for one year for every stab wound, every stitch, every organ damaged and every day in the hospital.

The prosecutor called Austin Walker “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” and commended the strength of Barbra, saying “she would not let him kill her.”

The prosecutor also talked about two of Walker’s ex-girlfriends, who both obtained domestic violence injunctions against him. One of them also spoke at the sentencing hearing.

Austin Walker, 44, said he was sorry for what happened that night and never meant to hurt Barbra. He said he still loves her and their children and misses them before he asked the judge for mercy. The defense said he was not in his right mind that night and is remorseful for what it called a crime of passion. His lawyer said he needs mental health counseling and anger management and asked for a 10-year sentence.

Judge Lindsey Tygart called the facts of the case “horrifying,” especially given that the four children were present in the house before handing down two concurrent life sentences plus five years.

“Most definitely we will have bumps in the road, but I know we can survive anything because we have already lived through the worst. My children have only one fear left, and that is someday or somehow their father will get out and come to hurt us again,” Barbara Walker said

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