Sacto 9-1-1
April 5, 2013
DUI murder suspect looking for heroin at time of crash, witness says

A California Highway Patrol officer testified today that Paul William Walden was on the hunt for heroin when, authorities say, he ran over and killed Harison Long-Randall, severely injured his girlfriend, Gemily West, and killed their four dogs in a collision in Carmichael last year.

Officer David Longo said a recent acquaintance of Walden, 32, told investigators that the two had been heroin buddies for more than a month at the time of the fatal 10 p.m.wreck last July 16 at the intersection of Garfield Avenue and Engle Road.

The night of the collision, Walden had just returned from a visit to North Carolina and called his friend around 8:45 p.m. "looking for 'stuff,'" Longo testisfied that the friend told investigators. When the friend said he didn't have any, Walden told him "he'd get his own 'stuff,'" Longo said.

Long-Randall, 21, of Grass Valley, and West, who was 23 at the time of her boyfriend's fatality, had just walked the dogs for about an hour at a nearby park when they were crossing Garfield to go back to her apartment. Walden is facing murder charges in Long-Randall's death as well as eight other counts. Judge Steve White ordered Walden to stand for trial on the charges.

According to Longo's testimony at Walden's preliminary hearing in Sacramento Superior Court, West said they had just begun to cross the street when she saw some lights to her left and "heard a large revving or engine noise."

West said she saw the car in the right-hand southbound lane on Garfield looking to make a west-bound turn on Engle, Longo testified. She said the car suddenly veered to its left and struck a stop sign.

"It was like a rocket taking off," West told investigators, according to Long,.

Just before the collision, West said she heard Long-Randall "say something to the effect of 'Oh, no' and embracing a bear hug and pushing her to the ground," Longo testified. West said that when she regained her senses, she "saw Mr. Randall in a prone position, pulling up on his elbows. She thought he had his leg tucked underneath him, but then she saw it laying in a gutter," Longo testified.

Paramedics rushed Long-Randall to a hospital where he died 10 days later. West suffered a badly-broken leg and other injuries.

Longo said Walden's heroin friend knew Walden as an addict. According to Longo, the friend said Walden called him at 10:11 p.m. the night of the collision, about 11 minutes after the CHP estimates that it took place, saying his car had broken down and he needed some assistance.

Walden spoke with the friend on cell phones four more times over the next 38 minutes, telling him on one occasion that he wouldn't be needing any help after all, Longo testified. The friend said he met up later with Walden at the defendant's mother's house in North Highlands and that the two shot heroin and fell asleep.

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