Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that an Essex County jury convicted Yvonne Walker, 46, of Irvington of murdering Casetta Blunt, 88, also of Irvington.
The older woman regularly allowed Walker into her home to do odd jobs in exchange for cash. Walker said the two got into an argument over $40 and that caused her to stab the victim 11 times in her home on June 16, 2011. The jury deliberated yesterday and today before reaching a verdict.
In addition to murder, the jury found Walker guilty of theft for stealing jewelry from the older woman and two weapons offenses.
The Honorable Peter J. Vazquez, the judge who presided over the trial, immediately revoked Walker’s bail. Sentencing is scheduled for March 27. Walker faces a minimum of 30 years in New Jersey State Prison.
In a videotaped interview Walker admitted killing the victim but offered a passion/provocation defense. Essentially, Walker alleged the elderly woman struck her with her cane. Walker said she was so angered that she “blacked out’’ and stabbed the victim with a kitchen knife.
“Ms. Blunt had been kind and generous to Yvonne Walker. She allowed her into her home. She gave her odd jobs and paid her for them. In return, Walker stole Ms. Blunt’s jewelry and brutally stabbed her to death in her chest and bashed her in the face with a brick. Ms. Blunt deserved to die in her own time peacefully, not at the hands of Walker,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab who tried the case. “We thank the jury for the verdict. It was appropriate in this case.’’