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Texas man, 78, pleads guilty to 1974 slaying of 17-year-old girl

  • AMANDA MCCOY/STAR-TELEGRAM VIA AP
                                Glen McCurley, right, waits to be escorted out of the courtroom at the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in Fort Worth, Texas. McCurley changed his plea from not guilty to guilty in the 1974 killing of 17-year-old Carla Walker, and was immediately sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

    AMANDA MCCOY/STAR-TELEGRAM VIA AP

    Glen McCurley, right, waits to be escorted out of the courtroom at the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in Fort Worth, Texas. McCurley changed his plea from not guilty to guilty in the 1974 killing of 17-year-old Carla Walker, and was immediately sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS >> A man stopped his capital murder trial today with a guilty plea to the 1974 killing of a 17-year-old Texas girl.

Glen McCurley, 78, of Fort Worth, was immediately sentenced to life imprisonment without parole for the abduction, torture, rape and killing of Carla Walker.

Prosecutors had said they would not seek the death penalty for McCurley, who admitted to police that he had killed Walker. A video recording of that interview was played for jurors.

The Fort Worth high school student was in a car with her boyfriend outside a Valentine’s Day party at a bowling alley the night of Feb. 17, 1974, when a man pistol-whipped the boy and grabbed Walker. Her body was found three days later stuffed in a culvert near Lake Benbrook, which is near where the abduction happened.

McCurley had been one of a number of people under suspicion since the crime occurred, but investigators had been unable to link him definitively to Walker’s death.

The case had gone unsolved for 46 years before investigators reopened it in 2019. Only when DNA technology advanced to the point where a complete genetic profile could be developed from evidence gleaned from the girl’s clothing could a solid link be made and McCurley be charged a year later, police had said.

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