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MURDEROUS DUO GET A FURTHER 9 YEARS IN JAIL ON APPEAL IN WA Aust

Samuel Walker and Jonathan Lee killers of houston image www.crimefiles.net

Samuel Walker and Jonathan Lee.

Two men who savagely strangled and beat a Perth drug dealer to death before covering him in acid and burying him in a shallow grave, have had their minimum jail terms increased to 21 years on appeal.

Sam Jacob Walker and Jonathan Robert Lee pleaded guilty to murdering David Houston, 24, in May last year and were sentenced to life in prison with a 12-year minimum.

But prosecutors appealed the sentence claiming it was too lenient, and on Tuesday, the Court of Appeal agreed, increasing the sentence by nine years.

The pair must now serve at least 21 years before becoming eligible for parole.

Justice Carmel McLure said the murder was at the high end of the scale of seriousness.

“The killing of the deceased was intentional, unprovoked, ferocious and sustained, and merciless in its execution,” she said.

David Houston's body was found in a shallow grave near Binningup on June 2 after he went missing on May 11, 2012.
David Houston’s body was found in a shallow grave near Binningup on June 2, 2012, after he went missing three weeks’ earlier.

“It is further aggravated by the fact that the offence was committed in company against a defenceless, unsuspecting victim, and deliberate steps were taken to conceal the crime.

“Their capacity to behave with such savagery and detachment cannot be laid solely at the door of their methylamphetamine-fuelled intoxication.”

The court heard Walker, then aged 26, told Lee’s girlfriend: “I’m going to kill David.”

The woman took Lee, then aged 23, into the bathroom where they had sex. Upon hearing Mr Houston scream, they went out into the kitchen area where they found Walker choking the victim.

Lee then began kicking and stomping on Mr Houston’s head and chest, causing one eye to bulge out of its socket.

Believing they had killed Mr Houston, the men dragged his body to the shower but Mr Houston regained consciousness, prompting Lee to kick him again.

A post-mortem examination found Mr Houston had severe head and chest injuries, but died from neck compression.

The men then wrapped the body in a barbecue cover and Walker drove the corpse to a remote site where it was buried with acid.

Police later used the vehicle’s GPS to find the body near the coastal town of Binningup, 130 kilometres south of Perth.

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