Marcia Jadonna Burchett

Marcia Jadonna Burchett

BELTON — A Killeen woman received a decades-long prison sentence — and a bit of forgiveness — during a hearing on Friday afternoon in a Bell County courtroom.

Marcia Jadonna Burchett, 31, was sentenced to 35 years in prison after she stabbed a woman to death in Killeen more than three years ago. At one time, Burchett was friends with the 29-year-old victim, Heather Mae Walker.

On June 9, 2018, she entered Walker’s home and stabbed her 17 times.

Burchett, who was booked into jail Nov. 9, 2018, partially has served her sentence because she will get credit for time served.

She was indicted by a grand jury on Jan 23, 2019, but her case lingered for years in the courts because she changed attorneys and repeatedly changed her mind about whether to plead guilty or have her case decided by a jury.

On June 30, Burchett entered a guilty plea in the 426th Judicial District Court. At that time, Judge Steve Duskie found her guilty and the case was set for a sentencing.

The 35-year sentence was part of a plea bargain agreement.

‘Lady Mae’

Heather Mae Walker, originally from Washington, was an Army veteran with four children. Called “Lady Mae” by her circle of friends, Walker recently had left the military and decided to move her family to Texas, according to her friends in a previous Herald story on June 22, 2018.

Walker’s father said on Friday that she was intending on moving back home.

“She was the best daughter that a man could have,” said Anthony Walker, during his statement to Burchett following the sentencing. “She was a veteran, and a mother most of all.”

More than 1,160 days have passed since his daughter was murdered.

“It’s been a torment,” Anthony Walker told Burchett. “I can’t touch her, love her or call her because of you. She’s on my mind every second, minute and hour of every day. It’s in God’s hands now. I do forgive you. God help you.”

In photos her friends shared with the Herald for a story years ago, Heather Walker is always smiling, her joyfulness beaming.

“Heather was the type to invite strangers to her house if she knew they didn’t have anywhere to eat for Thanksgiving,” said Britney Taylor, who knew Walker for 12 years, in 2018. “She was the one to give her last for someone she felt might need it more.”

Friends mentioned the heartbreaking nature of Walker’s last Facebook post, on June 7, 2018: “Making plans. I want so much more for myself and my kids. No more putting off my goals and dreams. I have a passion inside of me that I cannot continue to starve. I will survive and flourish.”

June 9, 2018

On the afternoon June 9, 2018, Killeen police were dispatched to a residence in the 2800 block of Phoenix Drive in reference to a person not breathing, according to the arrest affidavit.

Upon arrival, officers found Walker dead in her second-floor bedroom with visible stab wounds, and police noticed Walker’s window was partially open.

Police used surveillance video to identify Burchett as a suspect. Police then obtained her bank records and realized that she purchased a plane ticket and traveled to Texas from New York one day prior to the murder.

Police also obtained car rental records and said Burchett rented a car from a rental agency in Dallas. Burchett rented a motel room in Killeen the night of June 8, 2018. Police also said she purchased a ladder at a Killeen store, which she used to enter Walker’s bedroom.

Surveillance video showed a vehicle matching the description of the Burchett’s rental car parking around the corner and down the street from Walker’s residence, and a figure exiting the vehicle carrying a ladder during the early morning hours of June 9, 2018.

Burchett told police she went to Walker’s house to kill herself in front of Walker, according to the affidavit. Walker apparently attempted to stop Burchett from killing herself when the two began fighting over the knife. Police said then say that’s when Burchett stabbed Walker.

Burchett also pleaded guilty on June 30 to a third-degree felony charge of injury to a child stemming from an incident when she threw her child at her ex-boyfriend twice, according to the arrest affidavit.

For that offense, Burchett received a sentence of 12 months in state jail.

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