Witness testimony began quickly in the first degree murder trial Thursday of 19-year-old Tran Walker in Woodbury County District Court.
Neither attorney gave an opening statement in the bench trial presided over by Judge Tod Deck and ten witnesses took the stand before the noon break.
Walker is charged with two counts of first degree murder for allegedly stabbing to death his ex-girlfriend, 17-year-old Paiten Sullivan and an acquaintance, 18-year-old Felipe Negron Jr., after an argument in the Cecelia Park area of Morningside in January of 2018.
The first witness called was Stevie Sullivan, Peyton’s stepmother, who testified that Peyton was dating Tran Walker in the summer of 2017, and that Peyton had runaway on several occasions before deciding to end her relationship with Walker:
OC……….. yes she did. :10
Stevie Sullivan also said Peyton began keeping a knife under her pillow at home.
Peyton’s father, Shannon Sullivan testified that he told his daughter to block Walker, whom he had never met, from her social media, and that he thought she was staying overnight at a friend’s house in South Sioux City the night of her death.
Edwina Rodriquez, the mother of the second victim, Felipe Negron Jr, testified that her son called her after he was stabbed to tell her he loved her:
OC………something wrong. :11
Luis Bernal was one of two men standing outside a nearby bar who testified they saw an argument between Walker and Sullivan in a nearby parking lot and ran to her aide when it appeared she was in trouble:
OC……….fell to the ground. :14
Bernal testified that Felipe Negron Jr. then told him that Tran Walker had stabbed them.
Also testifying during the first day of the trial were Sioux City Police and E-M-S Fire Rescue personnel who treated the victims.
They described the severity of the stab wounds and blood loss and how the two teens had stopped breathing before they were transported to the hospital.
Hospital Emergency Room personnel testified in the afternoon that neither teen was responsive or had a pulse when they arrived at Mercy Medical Center.