Judge frustrated with State Attorney's Office in Walton case

By: Andy Slater

"Who's in charge of this investigation?"

Those were the words of Judge Fred Seraphin Wednesday morning after he asked the State Attorney's Office why they were still not ready to proceed with Mark Walton's trial.

"Why is this not done yet, this was from April," Judge Seraphin asked assistant state attorney Nicole Garcia, who said she's in charge.

"We're still trying to investigate this to see whether we proceed on the DUI," Garcia responded.

"What do you mean you're trying to investigate," Judge Seraphin replied. "What does that mean you're trying?"

On June 8, the State Attorney's Office requested more time to investigate their case against the Hurricanes running back. The request was granted until Wednesday morning, when the state's second request was denied. 

"There's a couple of issues in the case as to whether it's going to be a DUI or if it's going to be something else, " Garcia told Judge Seraphin. 

"You guys filed a DUI charge, so therefore you believe you had probable cause to arrest and to file the charges, Judge Seraphin said to Garcia. "The facts are the facts." 

Walton's attorney Joey McCall said "despite the evidence that the City of Miami police claimed that they had, [the State Attorney's Office] is still not even sure if this is a DUI or not three months later."

McCall pointed out something else that he said was "not normal."

"The judge asked [Garcia] who her supervisor was," McCall said. "Perhaps there's an issue procedurally with what she's doing and maybe even the judge is calling into question what exactly is going on with this case."

The Canes running back was arrested on April 23 and charged with DUI and knowingly driving with a suspended license.

Walton's trial is set for the middle of July.

The University of Miami suspended Walton indefinitely immediately after his arrest. As I reported, though, Walton was reinstated. The school has yet to release any updated statement regarding his status.

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(Photo: Sun Sentinel)