Facebook Twitter

LOADED PISTOL IN TYPEWRITER MAY BE HOAX

SHARE LOADED PISTOL IN TYPEWRITER MAY BE HOAX

Virginia prison officials said Saturday that a loaded pistol may have been planted in a typewriter in the cell of a man who was executed Thursday, and that they had concluded his lawyer's report about the weapon must be part of a hoax.

In a three-page statement, officials said that no fingerprints were found on the gun and that the lawyer had improperly taken the typewriter that was said to contain the gun.The man who was executed, Willie Lloyd Turner, became one of Virginia's best-known prisoners on death row as he repeatedly demonstrated his talent for fashioning keys, swords and bombs from goods as mundane as soap.

"Much has been said about that fact that this was Willie Lloyd Turner's last attempt to embarrass the Department of Corrections," said the corrections director, Ronald J. Angelone. "People that knew Turner have indicated that they believe that he would have wanted to leave his signature on that gun in the form of fingerprints."

Angelone added, "There is no reason why inmate Turner would have wrapped the fingerprints clean before placing the gun in the typewriter."

Turner's lawyer, Walter J. Walvick of Washington, had said he discovered the .32-caliber Smith & Wesson and 18 rounds of ammunition when he followed his client's instructions to open the typewriter he had left behind.

Gov. George F. Allen, a Republican, said on statewide radio Friday that the incident might be "just a stunt by a defense attorney."

In an interview Saturday, Walvick strongly denied he had faked the incident. "All I can say is, the governor must be embarrassed," said Walvick, 52. "He's under great pressure. They're going to try to bury this thing."