Friends recall West Michigan ties of soldier accused of double murder

Soldier from West Michigan accused of killing wife and New York trooper

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Justin Walters, the man accused of killing his wife and a New York state trooper Sunday, served in the Army and was stationed at Fort Drum, N.Y., for about the past decade. 

But his roots go back to West Michigan. According to people who knew Walters when he lived in Zeeland, he attended West Ottawa Schools and went to what was called West Ottawa Middle School at the time.

Multiple friends and acquaintances tell WZZM 13 that Walters was expelled from West Ottawa Middle School after he made a bomb threat against the school and apparently had a "hit list" of people at the school. This would have been in the late 1990s.

"They searched his locker and they found a hit list with a list of people to kill," says one person who did not want to be identified.

WZZM 13 has requested information about Walters' criminal and juvenile record from the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department. We are still awaiting that information.

Walters surrendered after the Sunday night slayings and was charged with two counts of murder, authorities told the Associated Press. A second woman living on the couple's property was also shot, but her injuries weren't considered life-threatening, police said.

Trooper Joel Davis, 36, was shot as he approached the home while responding to the report of gunfire at about 8 p.m. in the town of Theresa, near the Canadian border, said George P. Beach, superintendent of the New York state police.

Walters' wife, 27-year-old Nichole Walters, was found dead at the scene.

Walters was a combat veteran who has served at the post since joining the Army in 2007, the AP reports. He did one-year tours in Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade in January 2009 and again in March 2011.

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