The Murder of Nicholas Walker
Nicholas Walker was shot and killed while driving his vehicle on the on-ramp of I95 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Scott Simon, Ronel Desinor, and Michael Depre were found guilty of his murder after investigators connected an accidental 911 “pocket dial” telephone call, made by Simon, that outlined the murder plan.
May 5, 2013
On Sunday, May 5, 2013, at approximately 6:40 a.m., several motorists reported a vehicle accident on the on-ramp of I95 and Commercial Boulevard in Oakland Park, FL. The vehicle had struck a guardrail and had caught fire. Around the same time, other motorists reported shots fired in the same area.
Police and EMS responded to the scene. When firefighters extinguished the fire, authorities found a single occupant with multiple gunshot wounds. Investigators determined that six gunshots in total had hit the car and/or victim.
Dani Moschella, Broward County Sheriff’s Office, stated, “Arriving deputies found that a man had been shot in his vehicle, that silver Buick crashed into a guardrail, and it caught fire.”
The interstate was shut down for a total of three hours. The medical examiner identified the victim as Nicholas Walker, 33. of Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Investigators recognized from the very beginning of their investigation that the gunshots came from outside of the car and that the occupant had been the only victim. They began to canvass the surrounding neighborhood in the hopes of discovering possible clues.
Detectives learned of a heated argument at the Waffle House near Commercial Boulevard and Powerline Road, which was right around the corner from where the accident had occurred. The argument was between one man and another man who had been there with his girlfriend. According to Waffle House employees, the girlfriend had pretended to call 911 to diffuse the situation. The accidental 911 call had actually connected with the Broward County Communications Center, which is a recorded line. The call then disconnected.
A few minutes later, a second 911 call connected. Although this time, it was an accidental pocket dial. During this second recorded call, a man is clearly heard discussing how he was going to follow an unknown man home and kill him.
Investigators determined the point of origin for the 911 calls to be in the area of the Waffle House. They requested video surveillance from the Waffle House. On the video, Nicholas Walker was seen arguing with a man who was identified as Scott Simon. Investigators also noted two other men arriving at the restaurant and speaking to Simon. They began trying to identify them.
Investigators released to the media, video and screenshots of the two additional men and their 2012 Buick GS. They were positively identified.
Scott Simon, 27, and Ronel Desinor, 27, were arrested. The third suspect, Michael Depre, 29, surrendered himself to authorities. All three men were charged with first-degree murder of Nicholas Walker.
According to prosecutors, the plan to kill Walker was Simon’s idea, and Desinor was identified as the gunman while Depre was identified as the driver of the 2012 Buick GS. Attorney’s for all three men argued that their clients had nothing to do with the crime and asked for a new trial. Broward Circuit Judge Michael Robinson denied their request.
With consideration of the restaurant video surveillance and 911 recorded (murder) conversation, the jury deliberation was fairly straightforward. On July 1, 2015, Scott Simon, Ronel Desinor, and Michael Depre were all found guilty of first-degree murder of Nicholas Walker. All three men were sentenced to life in prison.
Details regarding the subject of the original argument have not been released.
All subsequent appeals regarding this case and any sentencing adjustments have been denied.