In the Erie County Common Pleas Court Monday, Judge Beverly McGookey sentenced Walls, 54, to eight life sentences plus 68 years. On May 7, a jury convicted Walls on 27 felonies, including 24 rape counts, for sex offenses committed against his daughter Megan Walls from the time she was a young child through her teenage years.
The Sandusky Register does not normally identify rape victims. But Megan Walls asked to be identified in news coverage.
The sentence Michael Walls received Monday mirrors the sentence in his first rape trial in 2016, which dealt the same accusations that he raped his daughter. He appealed his original conviction, and a state appeals court granted the appeal citing a procedural mistake in the original trial.
Statements to the court
At the sentencing, both Megan and Michael Walls addressed the court.
Michael Walls’ attorney, John Toth, indicated his client was going to appeal, again, with a different attorney.
Michael Walls himself said that he maintains his innocence “to (his) grave.”
“I’ve lost the battle, not the war. I have every intention of fighting for my life,” he said to the court.
In a prepared statement, Megan Walls spoke about mental health issues she deals with because of her father’s abuse.
“It truly disturbs me that even after all these years my father is still not sorry,” she said. “He deserves to be in prison.”
McGookey called the case one of the “most tragic and sad cases” in 22 years on the bench. She said she felt sad for both Megan and Michael Walls.
“I don’t know what happened to you,” McGookey said to Michael Walls, “but I feel sad for you. This whole thing is a tragedy, you’re the victim of your own actions.”
‘Got what he deserved’
After the hearing, Megan Walls, joined by her partner, Jeffrey Nolder, and their 11-month-old daughter, Jersey, said she was feeling “fair” after her father was again sentenced to life in prison.
“It wasn’t fair to go through this all again when he was already found guilty,” she said.
Added Nolder: “I think he got what he deserved.”
Megan Walls also thanked the court, jury and others involved in the trial.
In addition to the multiple life sentences, Michael Walls also has another 10-month prison sentence stemming from a guilty plea he made to interfering with child custody — but that sentence will be served simultaneously with his sentence from Monday. He made the plea during the course of the trial, the charge relating to him taking Megan Walls and another child to Florida while he was being investigated in 2013.
If released, Walls would also have to register as a sex offender.
Michael Walls spent his first prison sentence in the Richland Correctional Institution in Mansfield. It’s not known if he will return there for his current sentence.