We see a lot of things covering crime and corruption in South Carolina, but something I don’t ever recall witnessing is the family of a murder victim speaking out in support of the person convicted of killing their loved one.
And calling out the prosecutors who put them in jail …
Walker was found guilty earlier this year of murdering 38-year-old Aaron Peterson on July 23, 2018 at a mobile home in Pelion, S.C. Three other people – including a small child – were wounded in this attack.
The genesis of the shooting was an alleged attempt by Peterson’s wife – Elizabeth “Lyz” Peterson – to engage the couple in the practice of polyamory, a.k.a. when two people in a purportedly monogamous relationship decide to pursue consensual romantic and/ or sexual relationships with additional partners (either together or separately).
Like swinging … on steroids.
Walker was one of the couple’s polyamorous prospects, source familiar with the case told me – as was one of the individuals wounded in the shooting, 28-year-old David P. “Bear” Hawkins III. In fact, Hawkins – whose testimony helped convict Walker – was the focus of intense scrutiny (but no criminal charges) after images depicting child sexual assault were found on his cell phone.
The debate over those images escalated when prosecutors in the office of S.C. eleventh circuit solicitor Rick Hubbard made material misrepresentations to S.C. circuit court judge Walton J. McLeod IV about having referred Hawkins to the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson for prosecution.
That never happened …
In fact, sergeant Adam Creech of the Lexington sheriff’s department claimed there was no basis for such a referral.
“There was no investigative merit to proceed,” Creech testified. “No probable cause.”
Not long ago, Aaron Peterson’s daughter – Lily Peterson – and his mother, Annette Twaites, sat down in our studios to talk about what they believe happened in this case.
“I think Brad may have shot someone but I know it wasn’t Aaron,” Twaites said.
Her granddaughter agreed.
(Click to view)
“I do think that there was someone else (involved) given Lyz’s polyamory and how many men that she’s involved with,” Peterson said. “She’s had so many men in her life – it really isn’t all that preposterous of an idea.”
Both women agreed Peterson would still be alive today had he not been drawn into his wife’s polyamorous web.
Walker’s murder conviction closed this case from a law enforcement and prosecutorial standpoint, but Peterson and Twaites made it abundantly clear they believe the case against walker was a miscarriage of justice.
“They should think more about the victims and the families,” Peterson said, referring to the prosecutors who handled the case. “Stop looking at it as something to ‘win’ and something to upgrade your status.”
Whether justice was served for Walker or not … it is clear there has been absolutely no justice for the underage girl who was sexually abused in the images found on Hawkins’ phone.
What happens to her abusers?
Walker was sentenced by McLeod to forty-five years in prison. He began his sentence on January 25, 2023 and was placed in Kershaw Correctional Institution two weeks ago.
Count on this news outlet to keep our readers updated in the even there are any fresh leads in this case. Also, in the interest of fairness, we are reaching out to Lyz Peterson and Bear Hawkins in the hopes of getting them to share their side of the story with us.
Stay tuned …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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