Crime

Man sentenced to 15 years in death of his wife at Lexington motel

Relatives of Felicia Walker attended Thursday’s sentencing of Michael Wayne Crowe. From left to right are Nicole Walker, a sister to Walker; Karen Moore of Clearwater, Fla., a sister to Walker; and Karen Lee of Inverness, Fla., mother of Felicia Walker.
Relatives of Felicia Walker attended Thursday’s sentencing of Michael Wayne Crowe. From left to right are Nicole Walker, a sister to Walker; Karen Moore of Clearwater, Fla., a sister to Walker; and Karen Lee of Inverness, Fla., mother of Felicia Walker. gkocher1@herald-leader.com

A man was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison in the 2014 death of his wife at a Fayette County motel.

Michael Wayne Crowe, 39, originally was charged with murder in the death of Felicia Walker, 34. But Crowe pleaded guilty in November to an amended charge of first-degree manslaughter.

“He regrets his actions in this case,” defense attorney Warren Beck said before sentencing.

Walker died May 3, 2014, at America’s Best Value Inn on Versailles Road, near the Woodford County line. A motel employee discovered her body when she went to clean the room; witnesses told police they had heard screaming and sounds of fighting coming from the room.

On Wednesday, the day before sentencing, Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael Jr. denied a defense motion to have Crowe deemed a victim of domestic violence.

Had the judge agreed, Crowe would have been eligible for parole after serving 20 percent of his sentence. By rejecting the motion, Ishmael determined that Crowe must serve 85 percent of his sentence. With credit for time served, the sentence amounts to almost 13 years.

Although Crowe was subjected to verbal abuse by his wife, Ishmael said in court Thursday that he wasn’t convinced that the abuse rose to the level of calling Crowe a victim of domestic violence.

Walker’s sister Karen Moore of Clearwater, Fla., attended the sentencing with younger sister Nicole Walker of Versailles and mother Karen Lee of Inverness, Fla.

“We all feel that the sentence is light,” Moore said. “But at the end of the day, we’ve lost someone so dear. I’ve got three little children, a niece and two nephews, that we have to explain daily why mom isn’t here.”

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