Covincted thief chooses prison rather than probation
INCLINE VILLAGE – A strange case of stolen identity has ended in one more twist, with the convicted thief choosing prison rather than probation.
Both the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation and the Washoe District Attorney’s office recommended probation for William McDonald Walton, 60. But, he instead opted for one to six years in prison.
Walton hid behind the identity of Seattle resident Roy M. Vasquez for more than a decade, using his victim’s exemplary record as an accountant in the Kings County Sheriff’s Office to gain law enforcement and security positions. This gave him access to databases of personal information, which he apparently used on several occasions.
Walton served as a deputy constable in Incline Village and Sparks in the past, as well as a part-time bailiff for Reno Justice Court. He was working as a security supervisor for Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Reno when arrested on May 26.
Walton was unmasked when Vasquez tracked him down after repeated problems with creditors and the IRS.
For weeks after his arrest and booking as “John Doe,” Walton’s identity remained a mystery while local investigators worked with the U.S. Secret Service, Immigration and Naturalization Services and Canadian authorities to determine his identity.
“He never talked, he never gave it up,” said Reno Police detective Cameron Green, who helped investigate the case. “His attitude was, ‘If you figure it out, come and talk to me.'”
But, Walton never had that conversation.
When his facade began to unravel over the summer, he cut a deal in August to plead guilty to using another person’s identity for an unlawful purpose, obtaining credit, goods or services or something of value.
The plea bargain effectively cut off any further detailed delving into his past.
“After we did a cursory check to make sure he wasn’t into any really big criminal activity, we stopped digging,” Green said.
But beginning with documents and mail found in his apartment, this digging had already uncovered a murder for hire warrant in Lethbridge, Alberta, a fistful of other aliases and background information on several people.
It also revealed some facts about his distant past. He was born on Valentine’s Day, 1943, in Durham, Great Britain.
He immigrated to Canada with a family in the late 1970s. There, he allegedly hired two other people to kill a business partner and in 1978 was arrested for the unsuccessful plot. Police said he posted bail and fled Canada, abandoning his family.
Green said that Walton’s alleged accomplices served their time while a warrant was pending on him.
“And in the meantime, the original warrant was abandoned because too much time has passed,” he added.
Walton fled to the United States and spent some time in Washington state, where he married his present wife, although apparently using the identity of his brother David Norman Walton.
“There’s some question about whether that marriage is even legal, given the use of a false name,” said Green.
This isn’t Walton’s only problem. In September, while awaiting sentencing, Walton, who is chronic diabetic, developed medical problems that resulted in the amputation of his right leg below the knee.
The INS is also considering deportation back to England, because it can’t find any record of legal entry into the U.S.
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