Popular Bluff Man to Spend 75 Years in Jail for Murder

A Poplar Bluff man was sentenced to 75 years in prison for murdering Salvador Ramirez in 2014. Curtis L. Walker, 35, of Poplar Bluff, Missouri was sentenced on June 28. A jury found Walker guilty of second degree murder, armed criminal action and first degree burglary on April 1, 2021. Evidence that was presented d at the trial on October 22, 2014, a local fisherman was attempting to launch his boat at the Dan River Access south of Poplar Bluff when he observed what appeared to be a body laying at the end of the boat ramp. The victim was identified as Salvador Ramirez, 48. Ramirez had been shot in the head twice. The Butler County Major Case Squad was activated. Shortly after officers arrived on the scene at Dan River Access, Chief Deputy Wesley Popp of the Butler County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to the scene of a car that had been set on fire off of County Road 305. After further investigation, it was learned that the vehicle belonged to a girlfriend of Curtis Walker. A third crime scene was identified at 1224 Tremont Street, the Ramirez’s residence, where officers discovered the home had been burglarized, ransacked, and set on fire. Surveillance cameras attached to the house recorded Walker and his co defendant breaking into the residence. Walker was ultimately arrested after a high speed pursuit in Wright County wherein he was a passenger in a stolen vehicle. Ramirez’s cell phone was analyzed by police and information stored on his phone indicated Walker owed Ramirez money. The co defendant testified he met up with Walker at his house in Poplar Bluff at 10 p.m. on October 21 and at that time, Salvador Ramirez was alive. He further testified that he followed Walker in another vehicle to the Dan River Boat access and when he arrived Walker had already shot Ramirez and he witnessed Walker drag Ramirez’s body to the end of the boat ramp and place him in the river. Thereafter Walker drove the car to Butler County Road 305, where he set it on fire. Walker then testified himself stating that he did in fact shoot and kill Salvador Ramirez but that he acted in self defense. He further stated that the co defendant was not present when this shooting occurred. After hearing the statements from the victim’s family members as well as arguments from the prosecution and the defense, the Judge sentenced Walker to 30 years on class A felony of Murder in the Second Degree, 30 years on Armed Criminal Action and 15 years on the Class B felony of Burglary in the First Degree.

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