The real estate industry in Texas is implementing safety measures after a McKinney Agent named Sarah Walker was killed 11 years ago.
The murder shook up the town of McKinney spreading fear among residents, especially among other real estate agents. One agent, Amber Cody, states that she still fears for her life when visiting listings all by herself.
Walker, a single mother, was reported to have been staying at a vacant listing when an intruder got in and killed her. The agent was beaten and stabbed to death. Forensic investigations even identified bite marks that Walker is believed to have acquired while trying to defend herself.
The intruder was eventually identified as Kosoul Chanthakoummane, who was later convicted of the crime and put on death row. The judge ruled in favor of death by lethal injection. However, the execution, scheduled for July 19, is currently on hold as forensic evidence is still being reviewed.
Cody currently carries wasp spray and a gun to defend herself. The same is being followed by other realtors as well. However, they all agree that their best line of defense is a cell phone. Many are choosing to download apps that are specifically designed to track the user’s location and also, their appointments.
The Greater Fort Worth Association of REALTORS has also taken up the task of providing safety training to members.
One member, Tracy Amaya, states that the board offers classes that train people on being alert and other aspects of self-defense. She added that the spurt in the number of incidents similar to Walker’s has put everybody on alert.
The sentence for Kosoul Chanthakoummane was set by a Collin County Judge. Though Chanthakoummane sent out an appeal for reconsideration, the court rejected the appeal. He had also argued at an appeals court that he was not well represented. However, his efforts were unsuccessful.
Walker’s body was found by a couple who were visiting the listing at Conch Train Road. According to the testimony of a medical examiner, Walker was stabbed 33 times. It was also reported that her jewelry was stolen.
DNA collected from the scene of the crime matched that of Chanthakoummane’s, who has been arrested in the past for aggravated robbery and kidnapping. At the age of 16, Chanthakoummane and a friend attempted the theft of a car at gunpoint.
During his trial, Chanthakoummane confessed to the murder, agreeing that he had stabbed Walker. However, he stated that he did not deserve the death sentence as the crime was originally a robbery that simply did not go as planned.