LAS VEGAS, NV (KVVU) — A witness in the killing and attempted suitcase disposal of Morgan Austin lied to a murder suspect about having a court date in order to seek help at the Regional Justice Center, according to an arrest report.
On Feb. 4, Gary Walker, 55, picked up his roommate, identified by Las Vegas police as Morgan Austin, and another woman in downtown Las Vegas. Walker drove the women to a gas station to pick up alcohol and snacks. He then proceeded to drop them off at an apartment complex in the 400 block of North Nellis Boulevard, an arrest report stated. Walker left Austin and the other woman at the apartment while he went to work.
Throughout the day, the women began heavily drinking and passed out on a couch, the witness told police. After Walker returned from work, the three continued drinking. Walker became intoxicated and began arguing with Austin. According to the report, the argument escalated and Austin slapped Walker in the face.
Later, Walker left the room and returned to the apartment with a handgun. A struggle ensued and the witness heard a single gunshot, the report stated. The 22-year-old victim, Austin, was left dead on the floor, blood pooling around her head.
Following the shooting, the witness told police she pleaded with Walker to spare her, telling the gunman she would do anything if he didn’t kill her. Walker then sexually assaulted her, the witness said.
After forced sexual acts, Walker demanded the witness remove her clothes and help clean up the scene, according to the arrest report. The two attempted to dispose of the body with garbage bags until blood started leaking from the plastic, the witness said. Walker then attempted wrapping Austin’s body in a carpet, before ultimately stuffing her into a black suitcase. In an interview with detectives, Walker said the suitcase was meant to keep the dog away.
Moments after the crime scene cleanup, Walker sexually assaulted the witness again, the report shows. Walker fell asleep with the gun nearby. The witness told police she was afraid to flee the apartment while he was asleep. The next morning, the witness planned her escape.
She lied to Walker about having a court appearance the next morning at the Regional Justice Center, she said in an interview with detectives. Walker agreed to drive her to court, according to the arrest report.
About 9:14 a.m. on Feb. 5, the sexual assault victim alerted a marshal that she had been kidnapped and abused by Walker, the man who had accompanied her to court.
In an interview, Walker initially told police he didn’t have an apartment. He said he lived with his brother in North Las Vegas, the report stated. Walker later admitted to living at the Nellis apartment with roommate Austin. He said the shooting the result of an accident after struggling with Austin and the gun.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as Morgan Briel Amaya. She died of a gunshot wound to the head and her death was ruled a homicide, the coroner’s office said.
Walker’s preliminary hearing was set for 9:00 a.m. on Feb. 25 before Judge Karen Bennett-Haron.