By Jim Hagerty
Kody Walsh is guilty of the 2012 murder of 36-year-old Lori Daniels, a jury decided Monday afternoon, March 3.
Walsh, 24, was found not guilty of the attempted murder of two police officers and Ebert Davison, of Beloit, Wis.
Walsh’s case made news Sept. 9, 2012, the day he shot Daniels in the head on I-90 near South Beloit. Daniels and Walsh were passengers in a Ford Explorer driven by Davison.
Davison, Walsh and Daniels were at the Rockford strip club, State Street Station, before the shooting.
After he shot Daniels, prosecutors alleged Walsh held Davison at gunpoint before stealing the Explorer and leading police on a high-speed chase into Rockford.
Walsh then fled to Tennessee, where was arrested a week later in a car stolen from the Rockford area.
Almost immediately after Walsh was returned to Winnebago County, his case began taking several twists and was met with a number of delays.
While in custody, Walsh was charged with damaging government property for allegedly smashing a light fixture in his cell.
When he fired the firm of Albert A. Altamore & Associates, Walsh was represented by Assistant Public Defender Nick Zimmerman. Walsh later fired Zimmerman and attempted to act as his own lawyer.
Walsh later decided against appearing pro se when Judge John Truitt accused him of stalling the case.
Walsh was represented by the Winnebago County Public Defender when his trial began Feb. 25.
During the trial, Assistant State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite-Ross told the jury Walsh, from the backseat of the Explorer, shot Daniels in the head. With Daniels dying in the front seat, Davison drove to his home. There, security cameras captured Walsh holding a gun on Davison before Walsh fled in the SUV.
As police pursued him into Rockford, Walsh fired at two officers, prosecutors alleged, charging him with two counts of attempted murder.
Zimmerman argued it was Davison—not Walsh—who put two bullets in head of Daniels, the Afton, Wis., mother.
Of the 33 charges filed against Walsh, 24 were for murder. It took the jury six hours Monday to convict him of aggravated fleeing, aggravated unlawful restraint and first-degree murder, which could send him to prison for 45 years to life. Sentencing is set for April 7 at 9 a.m.