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A Texas hospital administrator charged with capital murder says he killed two alleged sex workers to protect his daughter, according his defense attorneys.
Christopher Wall, 38, stands accused of murdering Ashley Pohorence, 23, and Krista McClellan, 21, in Willow Park, Texas, on Nov. 4, 2017, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. An affidavit obtained by the outlet stated both women were shot to death in a bank parking lot after attempting to blackmail Wall out of thousands of dollars for a second time.
On Nov. 3, 2017, just one day before the murders, Wall connected with the women on a website called Backpage, according to court records obtained by the outlet. Wall worked as the director of the mental health administration at John Peter Smith Hospital and reportedly invited the women to his Fort Worth office for a massage.
That day, McClellan - along with a woman named Sierra McMahan - allegedly told Wall that they had a video of the married man trying to solicit them for sex during the massage.
It remains unclear whether such a recording exists, but it was enough for Wall to fork over nearly $8,000 to keep the women from exposing his rendezvous.
The following day, the women contacted Wall again, asking for more money, according to the court documents. Wall allegedly provided them with a bank address and arranged to meet.
Pohorence, McClellan, and McMahan arrived together. McMahan stayed in their vehicle while Pohorence and McClellan got into Wall’s automobile.
Moments later, Pohorence and McClellan hastily exited Wall’s vehicle before Wall allegedly got out and shot both victims. According to the Dallas Morning News, Pohorence and McClellan were each shot one time.
McMahan, who allegedly fled the scene and made her way to a convenience store across the street, was uninjured.
Wall was arrested the next day at his parents’ Weatherford home after McMahan identified him to authorities, according to the Weatherford Democrat. He was released about two months later after posting $400,000 bail.
The trial faced several delays in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with jury selection finally commencing on Monday.
On Tuesday, attorneys on both sides made their opening statements in the Parker County courtroom, according to the Star-Telegram. Wall’s defense attorney, Andrew Deegan, said his client was also a victim.
“This is a tragedy, no doubt about it,” Deegan told the jury. “Chris is a victim, too. This is not a crime.”
According to Deegan, Wall allegedly killed the women out of self-defense, claiming his client was only trying to protect his daughter.
“After he paid them off the first time, they kept coming and coming for more money,” Deegan continued. “One time, they told him that they were going to kidnap his daughter for sex trafficking.”
Deegan told the jury that “Chris’ life was in danger.”
The defense also pointed out that McMahan hadn’t called 911 immediately after the shooting and, instead, called her pimp.
Prosecutor Kathleen Catania, on the other hand, depicted Wall as a killer who tried not to get caught, according to the Fort Worth outlet.
“He left the bank to wash his car and then hid his gun,” said Catania. “He had been staying with his parents in Weatherford. So he goes home and discusses Oklahoma football with his father, eats a banana, and goes to bed.”
According to prosecutors, Wall allegedly told an investigator with the Texas Rangers, “I’m not a killer,” but later said, “I should have told my wife.”
Wall’s wife and other relatives were in the courtroom on Tuesday to show their support during the trial, which is expected to continue throughout the week.
Prosecutors previously waived the death penalty. If convicted, Wall faces the rest of his life behind bars.
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