Thomas sentenced to life in Walker case

Updated: July 7, 2010, 8:17 PM ET
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- An 11-time convicted felon was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without parole for robbing and beating former NFL player Javon Walker.

Deshawn Lamont Thomas' attorney, Betsy Allen, promised to appeal after Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Smith sentenced the 42-year-old Thomas as a habitual criminal.

Prosecutor Joshua Tomsheck noted Thomas had six prior felony convictions before a Nevada jury convicted him in April of first-degree kidnapping, robbery, battery, battery with intent to commit a crime, conspiracy to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

Thomas is also awaiting trial on pandering, kidnapping, child abuse and statutory sexual seduction charges in Las Vegas involving a teenage girl, Tomsheck said.

Walker, 31, is a former Oakland Raiders wide receiver who is now an unsigned free agent. He testified he was falling-down drunk when he got into a car with two men he didn't know after a night of partying at Las Vegas clubs in June 2008.

Prosectors say Walker was robbed of tens of thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry, cash and casino chips.

A co-defendant, Arfat Fadel, 32, pleaded guilty to lesser charges and testified against Thomas in return for a chance at being released from prison in less than 15 years. Fadel, who had no prior criminal history, is due for sentencing next week.

Allen argues that Fadel shaped his story to blame Thomas, and that Walker was so intoxicated he could have lost the jewelry and hurt himself falling down.

Thomas had felony convictions dating back to 1987 in California's Alameda County on charges including cocaine possession, assault with a firearm, being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and possession of cocaine base for sale.

He was sentenced in April in Las Vegas in another case to five years in Nevada prison for the theft of a tourist's designer watch.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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