Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that the Honorable Peter J. Vazquez, J.S.C., sentenced Yvonne Walker to 45 years in New Jersey State Prison for the murder of Cassetta Blunt, an 88-year-old woman who hired Walker to cut grass and do other chores around the house.
Walker, 47, of Irvington must serve at least 38 years before she will be eligible for parole.
On June 15, 2011 Walker fatally stabbed the elderly woman 11 times in her Campfield Street home. Her body was discovered the following day when neighbors noticed that Ms. Blunt did not retrieve a meal that was left on her door the previous day. The neighbors also realized something was wrong when they knocked and received no answer.
On Feb. 6, 2013 an Essex County jury convicted Walker of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon (a knife), possession of a knife for an unlawful purpose and theft. In addition to stabbing the victim, Walker hit Ms. Blunt in the face with a brick and stole jewelry from the victim’s home.
“Ms. Blunt was a peaceful, kindhearted woman who was just trying to help the defendant earn some extra cash. Her kindness was repaid with a vicious and senseless stabbing in the place where Ms. Blunt lived for more than 30 years. She was entitled to die peacefully in our own time,’’ said Assistant Prosecutor Justin Edwab.
Imposing sentence today, Judge Vazquez said he found no mitigating factors. At the time of the crime, Walker had seven prior arrests and at least two prior convictions. Walker, who did not attend her own trial, has been in jail since June 16, 2011 when she was arrested for the murder.