Vaillancourt makes first appearance in court

Posted at 9:31 PM, Sep 16, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-16 23:31:35-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The man accused of gunning down a Draper police officer was in no shape to appear before a judge for his initial appearance Monday.  Meanwhile, the suspect's girlfriend, who's also been charged, struggled to make her first appearance.

Victoria King watched as a deputy wheeled her sister before a Salt Lake City judge.

"It was hard.  I don't know what else to say.  It was hard," King said.

With a cast on her right arm and oxygen tank close by, Traci Vaillancourt simply answered basic questions such as the spelling of her name and her birthday.

"It hurts to see her like that because even though I was distanced from her for so long I look back at the years I knew my sister and to see her now, it's even harder," King said.

Vaillancourt was a high school beauty and aspiring model/ actress.  King says her sister later suffered from a rare blood disorder, then strokes and an addiction to prescription painkillers.

King hasn't visited her sister since the arrest but felt she needed to be in court Monday.

"I needed to hear and see for myself because I'm not emotionally and physically ready to visit with her because I'm mad, angry, sad, all those emotions right now," she said.

King is heartbroken her sister is linked to 35 year-old Timothy Walker, Vaillancourt’s boyfriend.

Police say Walker shot Vaillancourt and himself after murdering Draper Police Sgt. Derek Johnson Sept. 1.  Walker faces several charges, including aggravated murder, but there was no sign of him Monday afternoon.

"Cowardly he wasn't here or didn't show," King said of Walker.

Deputies didn't transfer Walker to the courthouse for medical reasons. Meanwhile, Vaillancourt faces obstruction of justice charges.  Police say she told conflicting stories about what happened to Johnson.  However, her attorney believes that may have been unintentional considering her condition.

"I can assure Ms. Vaillancourt at no time had the intent to mislead, obstruct justice or prevent any part of this investigation from going forward," said Ryan Holtan, Vaillancourt's defense attorney.

Vaillancourt is scheduled to be back in court Oct.8 in West Jordan. Walker is expected to make his initial appearance that same day.