In this episode, Brian Beckcom speaks with former Harris County prosecutor and now Criminal Defense Attorney Mekisha Walker. They talk about her work prosecuting domestic violence crimes as well as her personal experience as a victim of domestic violence.
Watch this episode on YouTube
- What it’s like working for the Harris County’s District Attorneys’ Office
- How to excel in a “sink or swim” environment
- A surprise defense witness by the name of Mattress Mack
- An in-depth look at Mekisha’s book “But, Why Did You Stay” and what it was like being a prosecutor while simultaneously a victim of domestic violence
- The increases in domestic violence in correlation to the COVID-19 pandemic
- The early stages of domestic abuse, red flags, and how abusers often start with emotional abuse before moving to physical violence
- The importance of trusting your own intuition
- And other topics
Mekisha Walker is a native Houstonian. She is the owner of her own criminal defense law firm. Mekisha is an experienced trial lawyer who now represents clients charged with criminal cases. To connect with Mekisha’s law firm visit WalkerLawHouston.com. If you are interested in reading “But, Why Did You Stay” you can find and purchase it at ButWhyDidYouStay.com.
Read the show notes!
[00:00:34] Brian Beckcom: [00:00:34] Welcome to the lessons from leaders podcast with Brian Beckcom. Unfortunately, during the pandemic, there has been a number of news reports that domestic violence incidents both in American across the globe have spiked dramatically. And my next guest speaks to that issue. My next guest is Mekisha Walker.
[00:00:53] Mekisha worked her way through high school and college and then through law school. And she got a preferred spot at the Harris [00:01:00] County district attorney's office, one of the largest district attorney's office in the entire country. Where, among other things, she prosecuted domestic violence cases while at the same time being a victim of domestic violence herself.
[00:01:18] In the podcast vacation, I talk about her history, how she worked her way through law school, her career as a prosecutor and now a criminal defense lawyer. And what it was like being a prosecutor and then a criminal defense lawyer while at the same time, suffering years of domestic violence from her ex husband.
[00:01:37] And now I give you Mekisha Walker. Hey, Brian Beckcom, a VB attorneys here, and I have got a. Mekisha Walker. I've already talked about her a little bit in the introduction. How are you doing today, Keisha?
[00:01:56] Mekisha Walker: [00:01:56] Well,
[00:01:56] Brian Beckcom: [00:01:56] thanks for, thanks for coming on the podcast. I know you, you are a [00:02:00] criminal defense lawyer and you have a very busy practice, and so you've got a lot of things going on, but, but anyway, I appreciate you agreeing to come on the podcast and you've got.
[00:02:12] A really phenomenal story. And you know, one of the things that I think a lot of us have been reading about over the last month or so during the pandemic is among other issues, it looks like we're seeing a rise in domestic violence. And you have a lot of experience with that personal experience with that, a very unique personal experience with that.
[00:02:35] And so, I want to talk about that. quite a bit today if you can, but before we do that, tell the listeners who you are, where you came from, what you do now, you know, tell us about your background a little bit. Sure.
[00:02:52] Mekisha Walker: [00:02:52] So my two sisters. we grew up and clear Lake, and I kind of [00:03:00] mentioned it in the book, but it was a move that my parents said from Pasadena to clear Lake, and they wanted to get us in better schools and we really, you know, couldn't afford to fit in with all the clear Lake kids.
[00:03:12] so it was a tough transition, but everybody turned out fine. went to college and. In the seventh grade, I made a decision that I wanted to be a prosecutor and I never once wavered in that decision. Did. So
[00:03:28] Brian Beckcom: [00:03:28] where did that come
[00:03:30] Mekisha Walker: [00:03:30] You know, I've, I've tried to, I think it was one of my social studies professor, teachers.
[00:03:37] I, I don't remember the exact moment that I made the decision, but I remember, you know, telling my parents have decided this is what I want to do when I grow up and that sort of thing. So. Undergraduate was just kind of like, get the degree so you can apply for law school, which I did, through, um.
[00:03:57] Undergraduate. I waited tables. I even waited tables in [00:04:00] high school at like a golden corral type place that didn't serve out Paul. So you could wait your stare when you were younger. my first job was at Kroger sacking groceries. official job. I did a lot of, things to earn money before that. but I've always worked even through law school.
[00:04:16] And, so like I said, my and result in game was wanting to be a prosecutor and. Mmm. Just stupidly now I see that it was not the best move, but at the time, you know, all I wanted to do was be a prosecutor and Harris County. I mean, that's where I wanted to be. And so it was the only place that I applied when I finished law school.
[00:04:40] Brian Beckcom: [00:04:40] And you did, you know, you went to law school in Houston,
[00:04:43] Mekisha Walker: [00:04:43] South Texas. Yes. Yeah.
[00:04:45] Brian Beckcom: [00:04:45] And just for people that, that a lot of people in Harris County and elsewhere know this, but I mean. Being a prosecutor in Harris County is a big deal. I mean, Harris County, what is it, the third or fourth biggest, integrated prosecutor prosecutorial [00:05:00] staff.
[00:05:00] So, so pretty big deal, to work well for any prosecutor, but for the Harris County prosecutor's office, in particular.
[00:05:09] Mekisha Walker: [00:05:09] So at the time, Chuck Rosenthal was the da and yeah, it was a really big deal to get what they call a pre-commitment position where, you actually got a call from the elected da saying, I'm going to hire you.
[00:05:24] you're going to be allowed to work under somebody else's bar card until you pass the bar and we get bar results in your higher, and so long as you pass the bar, then you keep the job. So there was a lot of pressure that that system's changed a little bit now. A pre commit position or getting hired at the DA's office is not as big of a deal as it used to be.
[00:05:46] cause they're not as selective as they used to be. But at the time it was a really big deal.
[00:05:51] Brian Beckcom: [00:05:51] What was it about. about you in particular, what do you, what do you think it was that enabled you to get this pre-commitment [00:06:00] position? I mean, was it your grades? Was he your personality? Was it a mock trial or something like that?
[00:06:07] Mekisha Walker: [00:06:07] I think it was a combination of everything. I did law review and varsity moot court, not mock trial. so I, I was the brief writer on the team and argued occasionally, but every brief that I wrote for South Texas won the national competition that we entered. and then I, I did really well in law review.
[00:06:26] I liked to write, obviously I wrote a book, but. I think it was a combination of my grades, my extracurricular activity. there was a final decision made after an in person interview, but I think I initially, one of the main reasons I got the interview was, the law firm where I worked my third year of law school, which was then hitting assessment, Bailey and Davidson.
[00:06:50] And if you've read the book, you know who Joe Bailey is. So they having influence of having on your resume that you've worked for this [00:07:00] prestigious criminal trial, was a big deal as well. So I think it was a combination of everything.
[00:07:07] Brian Beckcom: [00:07:07] Yeah. And for people that don't know this, I mean, lawyers generally know this, but some people might have this impression that when it comes to mock trial and moot court and things like that, Harvard, Yale, Michigan are the best.
[00:07:18] But surprisingly to some people, South Texas is generally considered, if not the best. Law school in the country for moot court, certainly one of the top five. So the fact that you were heavily involved in that is a pretty, pretty big deal. as far as it goes, you know, you've got your book in the background, but why do you, why did you stay?
[00:07:38] And we're certainly going to talk about that a little bit, but anyway, so you graduate, you, you get a pre-committed position. at the Harris County DA's office, and then as long as you pass the bar and do all that stuff. So I assume you did that.
[00:07:53] Mekisha Walker: [00:07:53] Yes, we, you know, the rule was literally, here's a box, pack your stuff up and walk out the door.
[00:07:58] So there was a lot of [00:08:00] pressure. I remember, you know, the bar is three days, and I remember one day I walked, I remember throwing up in the Bush when I walked out, but it all
[00:08:10] Brian Beckcom: [00:08:10] worked out. I was the same way. And when I, when I got done with the bar exam, I was like, I'm not sure I pass and I will never take another test as long as I live.
[00:08:20] Mekisha Walker: [00:08:20] Yeah.
[00:08:21] Brian Beckcom: [00:08:21] So you pass the bar. Good deal. And tell us, tell us what it's like. working in a prosecutor's office like Harris, like a big prosecutor's office. How does, like when you first get there, what are you doing? What's like the chain of command? What's, what's the, you know, how do you, how do you get promoted?
[00:08:41] Things like that.
[00:08:42] Mekisha Walker: [00:08:42] So, they put you to work right away. the training is on the job. of course there's written materials you can look at, but I was literally handed a DWI case my second day in the office about an hour before the jury was brought over and said, you're going to trial on this case. [00:09:00] I didn't have time to watch the video.
[00:09:01] I barely read the offense report. and you know, that was a fluke thing. It didn't happen often, but. You know, you have state's always ready. You know, you've got to be ready if, and that puts a lot of pressure on the prosecutors cause the volume in Harris County is so high. there's, there's just a lot of crime in our area.
[00:09:21] And, um. So in misdemeanor court, the way it works when you first start out, there's three prosecutors assigned to every court. There's a misdemeanor number three, a two and a chief. The chief is in a supervisory position and, supervisors, the two and the three, and helps them with their case load and their trials.
[00:09:39] They do have some, some types of cases that are assigned to them that aren't shipped off to special divisions. Like, you know, family violence or child abuse or. Financial crimes or gang unit. But so when you first started out, your run of the mill cases as a prosecutor are [00:10:00] DDB eyes. And, um. Marijuana theft.
[00:10:05] the assault cases and the DWI blood cases, and some misdemeanors were reserved for the number two prosecutor. So obviously the number three is the lowest level. I mean, you could literally be dealing with a prosecutor that doesn't even have their bar card. Yeah. When you're trying to get. And then, they get promoted to number two, and then from there, a number two prosecutor will get promoted to a felony three.
[00:10:33] So they'll go up to felony and hire, handle the similar cases that they handled in misdemeanor court, low level drug cases, stuffs, not a lot of victim cases. And the number two and felony handles victims. So, you know, like murder, robbery, you know. That involves felon family violence. So once they go up as a three, then a prosecutor comes back [00:11:00] down as a chief and then back up as a two or three, depending on how you get promoted.
[00:11:05] So when I was at the, I, I left the office as a felony too. Mmm. Almost five years. And, you know, I can remember the port that I was in had a real high trial docket and this particular judge at the time, her theory was, I'm not going to tip my hand either way on which case I want to go to trial on because I want everybody to be ready.
[00:11:31] And I want everybody to, you know, I think that they're going to have a jury in the hall so we can work out some of these cases. that resulted in, you know, me having to prepare for. I can remember some Mondays, and I tend to try out a settings and you're talking every Monday and then you're trying to do the work during the week and then in the trials.
[00:11:51] And so I had all my witnesses on call and told them, look, if I don't call you and tell you to come down here, [00:12:00] we're not going to child this time. So you could literally have a girl who's about to testify against your dad for molesting her. A rape victim, you know, all these types of victims that, you know, they just had to wait and, maybe they got a call.
[00:12:13] Most of the time they didn't, which meant their case didn't go. A lot of times the cases that you prepare for never ended up going, for one reason or another. And. It was the reason I left. It was a culmination of, things that were happening. But my grandma passed away and she and I were very close and it caused me to reflect and look back on how much time that I was giving the office.
[00:12:36] And I always had this opinion that I was doing such a good job, that if I quit one day, the whole thing was gonna fall apart, you know, because I wasn't there anymore. And when I realized. Said, the only thing that was going to happen if I quit was they shoved somebody else in my spot and keep on going. it kinda made me think about what my [00:13:00] priorities were and since leaving office since 2006, you know, I have much more time to be a better mom, more time to not work.
[00:13:09] and you know, still still have a career, so I'm still going to child.
[00:13:15] Brian Beckcom: [00:13:15] Well, and you know something Mekisha it's not, and I think you'll agree with this, there's a lot of people that aren't lawyers that have this image. Every lawyer when they graduate from law school is immediately in the courtroom, like you see on TV.
[00:13:27] And that's not true for the vast, vast majority of lawyers. But for somebody like you, or people that work in the prosecutor's office, I mean, you are lit, like you said, you're literally day two going to trial. So tell us what it was like. Mmm. Having to learn how to try lawsuits that quickly. I mean like just immediately out of law school, you're, and you're probably, you're probably going against lawyers.
[00:13:56] You'll have 10 2030 years of experience, right? I mean, what was that like.
[00:14:01] [00:14:00] Mekisha Walker: [00:14:01] It's difficult because you're literally learning on the job and your chief will sit next to you. And, you know, chiefs are notorious for, you know, kicking your chair, say object, you know, things like that. So you're trying to concentrate on how you want your trial strategy to go
[00:14:15] Brian Beckcom: [00:14:15] to law partner.
[00:14:16] He does that when we're dry
[00:14:20] Mekisha Walker: [00:14:20] accepts, you know, you're less obligated to, so like you have to do what he says. So, you know, you, you learn a lot by making mistakes and that's okay because they give you cases that they're not super concerned with. If you lose, you know, if there's a case that everyone's going to freak out, if somebody loses that, well, you're not touching it because you've been here three months.
[00:14:41] So I can remember one of the first DVI trials I had, this was back when they didn't, if you refuse a breath test, they didn't do blood draws like they do now. We called those, no tests, no accident cases. I mean, it's literally a traffic stop. No science evidence. Just look at the video and tell us what you think.
[00:15:00] [00:15:00] and those are, are truly, one of the hardest cases to win as a prosecutor. But I remember one that I had, it was either my first or my second. and I was going up against a very experienced attorney. I mean, he'd probably been practicing 30 years. and he brought in for the defense witness. He says, you know, the defense now calls mattress Mack
[00:15:31] and criminal law, you know, as a, as a defense. you have the, um. Autonomy and that the element of surprise, you don't have to list with an assist to this day. You don't have to tell them, this is what I'm going to call. So I'm sure you can imagine how shocked I was in a run of the middle of DWI case where you know, they're calling smack and to testify.
[00:15:54] So that was my cross examination. The [00:16:00] client had had worked at his warehouse, you know. Moving stuff around. And so he just came in and testified because in a DWI case where there's no blood or breath test, the state law says that the prosecution has to prove loss of normal use of mental or physical faculties, and that's an opinion crime.
[00:16:18] And so he came in. witness came in and he testified in his opinion, after having watched the video and having knowledge of how the defendant walks and news normally, but he wasn't intoxicated.
[00:16:34] Brian Beckcom: [00:16:34] Well, I mean, mattress matcher. What a, what a story mattress max for people that aren't in Houston. Mattress max mattress Mack is a absolutely Houston. I count on, he's got such a recognizable voice and stuff like that. You know, that story reminds me a little bit. I have a story I heard when John Connolly, the governor of Texas, was on trial in Washington, D C for I think, some sort of a [00:17:00] fraud or some sort of ethical violations of some sort.
[00:17:02] He's in trial and he called the Reverend Billy Graham as a character witness, and apparently. The lawyer or the first question they ask is, introduce yourself. I'm, my name is Billy Graham. What do you do for a living? Mr. Graham? I preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the masses. And three of the jurors said, Oh man.
[00:17:23] And they kind of knew that. They knew they had lost at that point. So wow. Your first trial mattress max. So tell us if you will, are there any. So you spent some time, and I think this is important for what we're about to start talking about. You actually spent some time working as a prosecutor on domestic violence cases, right?
[00:17:45] So tell us, tell us about that experience, whether there are any, particular cases that maybe stand out in your mind or, or what it was like to be a prosecutor on, on domestic violence cases.
[00:17:59] Mekisha Walker: [00:17:59] Sure. [00:18:00] So, the first family violence I had was as a misdemeanor. Number two. that's your first opportunity to get one of these types of cases.
[00:18:08] And once I tried a couple, I figured out that I really enjoyed them. Mmm. And was then transferred at some point to the misdemeanor division for the Korean family criminal law division. So the DA's office has specialty divisions like animal cruelty, sex crimes, child pornography issues. Um. And there's different criteria for which cases get pulled to the divisions to be tried by division prosecutor versus a trial court prosecutor, but in family violence that, that trigger is when you have a complaining witness, a victim that says, I don't want to go forward.
[00:18:51] I don't want to testify. No, that's not what happened. Or changing the story or minimizing it in some way. Then the trial court prosecutors that ship that case off to the [00:19:00] family criminal law division to be better supported because those prosecutors, that's all, it's all that they try. There's more social workers, case workers and investigators that help with those cases in that division.
[00:19:14] Brian Beckcom: [00:19:14] Those are the cases where we've all heard of these. Where. There's a, there's a episode of domestic violence. And then at some point, for some reason, and I'm hoping that you will talk about this, both your personal experience on your prosecutor prosecutorial experience, but at some point, the victim decides, I don't want to move forward.
[00:19:37] And I'm sure there's tons of reasons why that may happen. But, you were, you, you specialize as a prosecutor in the domestic violence cases where. Maybe there was a problem with the witness or the victim wasn't cooperating. Things like that. Tell us like how do you make, cause I know there's going to be people that are going to be thinking, well, if the, if the victim [00:20:00] doesn't testify, if the victim won't confirm what happened, how can you move forward?
[00:20:04] Like how do you prove that
[00:20:05] Mekisha Walker: [00:20:05] case? Well, technically, you know, how meet the elements that are alleged in the information assault. Um. It's different now than it was when I was a prosecutor, when I was a prosecutor, that Crawford had not the leading case on hearsay and had not affected our cases. And so. Back then an officer could come in and testify and say, she told me this and not have any, you know, sustained hearsay objection.
[00:20:37] And so a lot of times those cases, your officer was the only person. And so, to answer your question, you have to do a really good job in board Iyer when you're selecting the jury to make sure that the jurors, that, they can agree that. Even if the complainant doesn't want to go forward. they understand why the [00:21:00] state would want to follow up and they can follow that law.
[00:21:03] as you know, not everybody tells the truth and it doesn't always work out the way that you want it, but the idea is to get people that are okay with the state prosecuting even when the victim doesn't want.
[00:21:15] Brian Beckcom: [00:21:15] Yeah. So, but those are obviously much more difficult cases. To win and I want to transition now.
[00:21:25] So you're, you're prosecuting domestic violence cases and your specialty is cases in which there's problems with the testimony of the victim and related things like that. At the same time that this is going on, you were having your own personal issues with domestic violence in your life, right? So. So tell us about, and before we get into this, you've actually written a book about it.
[00:21:51] The book is in the background. If you're watching this on YouTube, it's in the background. If you're listening to it on the podcast, and it's, the book is called the, why did you stay? [00:22:00] And by the way. Fantastic title, fantastic title. but I've read the book and I encourage everybody listening to get the book and read it.
[00:22:08] It's available on Kindle. You can also get a hard copy or soft copy, but it's a, it's a, it's a harrowing book. in many ways it's also, it's in some ways inspiring, but, but it's, it's, it's fascinating. I think it's fascinating to me and I think to a lot of people. That a prosecutor who is prosecuting domestic violence cases and knows the signs is a victim at the same time.
[00:22:35] She's doing that in her personal life. So tell us
[00:22:38] Mekisha Walker: [00:22:38] a bit about the way the timeline worked out is when I started prosecuting these cases as a felony and misdemeanor too. That was about 2003 Mmm. In 2003 is when I met my ex husband, the a [00:23:00] physical abuse and our relationship didn't happen until after we were married in 2005.
[00:23:05] So I wasn't experiencing, in my misdemeanor rotation, I wasn't experiencing actual physical violence later on. Yes. but I think, um. You know, I can remember trying those cases and thinking to myself just being so very not understanding domestic violence at all. I'm having a hard time having empathy.
[00:23:32] For the women who, you know, had eight prior incident reports and that, you know, the, the husband or the boyfriend or whatever, just keeps feeding her up and just thinking to myself, you know, what am I supposed to do with this? If she doesn't want help and she doesn't want to get out of this situation, then why am I even bothering?
[00:23:52] Brian Beckcom: [00:23:52] exactly. And at the same time, whether your experience with your ex husband was physical [00:24:00] or not you, you were clearly, there was, there were things that he was doing that you described in great detail on your book that they're, that are not normal, that, that, that were clearly abusive and, but, but it's, it's interesting.
[00:24:14] So how do you explain Mekisha how do you explain like the cognitive dissonance where. You're, you're, you're prosecuting or you're working on these types of cases, and at the same time you're having the same issues. Like, like you're questioning the victims as a prosecutor and you're not, you know, how does, how, how do you, how do you reconcile those two things in your.
[00:24:38] Mekisha Walker: [00:24:38] well, you know, I don't think they're far off. You know? I mean, you're thinking, you know, initially before there was any abuse in my life, you know, my thought was, well, it's against the law. It's wrong for a man to hit a woman, you know, whatever. And that I think transitioned into, I've always been very passionate about everything that I do.
[00:24:58] And I. [00:25:00] I always wanted to win my child. So, you know, there was, there was just this incentive there anyway, combined with wanting to make a difference. Yeah.
[00:25:14] Brian Beckcom: [00:25:14] And the, and the other thing that we haven't mentioned, which makes this entire situation even more, out of the ordinary is your ex husband was a police officer.
[00:25:25] Mekisha Walker: [00:25:25] He was, so that's actually how we met, because I was a prosecutor and he was a police officer and we had a lot in common. And, you know, I think my initial perception of him, you know, obviously he didn't show me truly who he was right away. The person that he showed me, that's the person that I fell in love with.
[00:25:46] And so, yeah. When you'd have instances of verbal abuse or, you know, red flags, Mmm. My thought process was, that's not who he is. He's this person and he's having a bad day, [00:26:00] or he's stressed or whatever was going on at the moment. Instinctively because I loved him, I would make an excuse for that behavior.
[00:26:09] And because of that, it continued to escalate over the years.
[00:26:13] Brian Beckcom: [00:26:13] So you have a description in your book when you first met your husband, if I'm remembering this correctly, he was working security and you were with some friends and you saw him across the room and said, man, that is a really good looking man.
[00:26:25] And, you know, you, you want it. You wanted to meet him and you met him that night and then things move pretty quickly and you describe in your book, I mean, you can, it's almost like you can feel the heat being turned up. It's kind of slowly gets worse and worse over the years. So tell us, what was it like at the beginning of the, of the marriage?
[00:26:49] Like how did, how was it going and what were the first signs you saw that something might be off? And the reason I'm asking you these questions, man, Keisha is. I'm positive there are people on the phone call. [00:27:00] They would want to know what kind of signs they should be looking for early on.
[00:27:05] Mekisha Walker: [00:27:05] Well, I think it's important to mention that there's a lot of people out there just everyday people who think domestic finalist doesn't have anything to do with them because.
[00:27:19] You know, they, they, they're not abusive. they're not in an abusive relationship. They've never known anybody that it's happened to all that they probably did. And at the same time, I think that, you know, I've had so many of my friends and obviously my family come back and, you know, tell me, it all makes sense now.
[00:27:37] You know, I see everything now. So, you know, red flags are going to be different for every person and every relationship. Some of the things that I experienced that I think are common. Are honestly jealousy.
[00:27:52] Brian Beckcom: [00:27:52] I mean, jealousy on a whole nother level, really, right? I mean, some of the things you described in terms of the, and I actually made some notes, [00:28:00] you, you talk about, a lot of domestic abusers are very territorial and they try to isolate, peep, and I try to isolate women or, man, I guess men could be the victims of domestic violence too.
[00:28:12] They try to isolate them from their friends and family. So, right. Talk about that kind of the early stages. When you say jealousy, like give us some examples of some of the, some of the episodes that you went through with your ex
[00:28:26] Mekisha Walker: [00:28:26] husband. Well. I mean, I can remember one day, you know, when, when you walk in the court house, you turn your ringer off cause your phone can't ring in the courtroom.
[00:28:37] I mean, it's habit. We all do it. then at the time when it was, when I had just gone out into private practice, um. I got an office at Franklin and made downtown, which is a couple blocks from the courthouse. I walked in my office, I had a client meeting, met with the client the whole while. I'd forgotten to turn my ringer on because it was late to the meeting, and [00:29:00] then we started talking to the client.
[00:29:01] Well, I walk out of my office and my ex husband was standing there on the sidewalk right in front of me, and you know, initially I was startled and. He accused me of, you know, since I didn't answer my phone, I was in my office having sex with someone and I was like, my office has a glass door. And he's like, I know you were, you know, I think he said something like, you're a dirty line bitch or something.
[00:29:24] He took his wedding ring off and I threw it into the street. And so it's, it's, there were a lot of jealous incidents, but I think a true man is secure enough. Mmm. In the relationship that, I mean, let's be Frank. If somebody wants to cheat in the relationship, they're going to, yeah. So no amount of jealousy on the other person's part is going to prevent that.
[00:29:50] but I think that people who are normal people that are secure, don't question your every move when you're not with
[00:29:59] Brian Beckcom: [00:29:59] them. [00:30:00] It's almost like, and tell me if you agree with this or not. It's almost like the jealousy gets to a point where. It's like the person feels like they own you, like you are there, you Kesha or my property and I own you.
[00:30:17] And if somebody, yeah, and if you do something else with somebody, then they're basically stealing from me. Right. It's such a bizarre attitude. Right.
[00:30:25] Mekisha Walker: [00:30:25] I thought about this in a long time, but she made me think about it when you said property, he used to call me his child.
[00:30:31] Brian Beckcom: [00:30:31] Yeah. Yeah. See? Unbelievable. And there's, there's, there's other stories in there.
[00:30:36] Like there's a story where you talk about going to a wedding, and I, I, as I remember, I think you were in the wedding, in fact, weren't you? Yeah. And, and it was, was it a relative or a close friend of yours?
[00:30:48] Mekisha Walker: [00:30:48] For instance, fifth grade,
[00:30:50] Brian Beckcom: [00:30:50] your best friend's wedding, and you fly to this wedding and your husband is literally making you essentially trying to make you leave.
[00:30:56] The second you get there, he won't interact with anybody. None [00:31:00] of the friends. And again, I want to. I mentioned this, cause I know all the, there are, the red flags are different in there. They're probably a countless number of red flags, but there are certain things that, are pretty strong indicators that something is wrong.
[00:31:14] And so there's this one thing that really comes through in your writing is the complete and total lack of empathy that your ex husband had for anybody but himself. and I mean, some of the stories are just. It's just like you're, you're, you're just like, what happened to this person? I mean, this person is very damaged.
[00:31:32] So talk a little bit about, the, the instances where there were just no empathy there. There's just like, no emotion. I mean, it's just very, it's a, it's very well written. and
[00:31:44] Mekisha Walker: [00:31:44] impactful. You know, I, I remember one incident, I was seven months pregnant with my daughter who is, now eight and a half, almost nine.
[00:31:57] And I, I remember, [00:32:00] I, for some reason I was, I'd woken up, went to the bathroom, came back to bed, and for some reason I was feeling under my armpit. I don't know why. And I felt a lump. And I told him about it and I was like, you know what, if it's cancer. You know, all these hormonal things going through my mind, like, am I going to have to, you know, Mmm, sacrifice going through chemo for the baby.
[00:32:21] You know, just like these thoughts because you're pregnant
[00:32:24] Brian Beckcom: [00:32:24] for sure.
[00:32:25] Mekisha Walker: [00:32:25] And you know, he, he told me, you know, be quiet. There's something wrong with you. And, it turned into. I think the trigger was, I told him that I feel so alone, you know, even though you're right here with me, I feel alone. And he just snapped, spit in my face and started punching me, held a gun to my head, ended up leaving the house, which was his emo.
[00:32:51] Mmm. He always did that, and then he would call and make sure the coast was clear to come back. And you know, he always checked my phone phones when he got back. [00:33:00] Since I've been talking to anyone, and I don't know why. This particular night he didn't check my phone and I don't know why. This particular night I, it was.
[00:33:08] Daring enough to record, but I set my phone to record audio and I put it in the nightstand and door. And so I have this recorded conversation. It was the first one I had in the course of documenting what happened to me, but I had a recorded conversation where, you know, I, I say everything that just happened and talk about how if he had shot me, I would hope the neighbors would get over there and time to cut the baby out and all this.
[00:33:32] And you know, his response was, well, you don't know what it's like for me. You don't know what it's like for me to hurt the ones that you love. Yeah. Unbelievable.
[00:33:41] Brian Beckcom: [00:33:41] Yeah. And you know, you, you actually, and now it'd be a good time to talk about this, by the way. I loved that title of the chapter. Amazing grace, your daughters grace, and what a great, what a great, what a great title of that chapter.
[00:33:55] Good. Really good chapter too. But, so, you know, the, [00:34:00] the, the. It's really hard for people to imagine how, how bad it can get. And like the title of your book is perfect, but why did you stay? And so, now is probably a good time because they're so tell us like chronologically at first, and you're very clear about this in your book.
[00:34:24] At first there was no physical violence there. There was no physical abuse that took some time. Tell us like how, how did the chronology go until there started to be, until it was more than just emotional violence. And by the way, when I say just emotional violence, I mean, that can be just as bad as physical violence in many ways.
[00:34:46] So I'm not trying to downplay the emotional component of it, but walk us through the chronology, like how long did it take until the physical violence started?
[00:34:54] Mekisha Walker: [00:34:54] So we got married in 2005 and he came home. I [00:35:00] left the office in 2006 and shortly after that, he came home one night and told me he quit his job because he'd started law school and it was too much and he couldn't do all of it.
[00:35:09] So, during that time period, I chopped up a lot of his, a bad behavior to the stress of law school because it's stressful. I can remember him. you know. Breaking a base that my grandmother gave me and me excusing it in my mind thinking, well, he's not really violent with me. He just took out his frustration in a nonverbal way, and although I recognize that that wasn't okay.
[00:35:35] You know, I somehow rationalized it away
[00:35:38] Brian Beckcom: [00:35:38] and he was, and he was just to be clear, like it wasn't random that he broke that particular item. Like he was trying to find things that were important to you. As you write in the book, you're, you're somebody, and I'm the same way. I have a lot of keepsakes that are important to me emotionally, but he would literally pick out stuff that was important to you.
[00:35:57] It wasn't like he was just. You know, throwing an orange [00:36:00] across the kitchen cause he was in a bad mood. I mean, he was intentionally trying to hurt you emotionally.
[00:36:04] Mekisha Walker: [00:36:04] Right? I mean, Christmas trees kicked over, ornaments broken. I have an ornament collection. I collect Christmas ornaments and I have an ornament that my great grandmother started for every year since I was born, 1974.
[00:36:18] And, there were some just very sentimental things broken that night. But you know, the progression from verbal breaking things. the verbal started to get worse before it turned physical. there was a, and there was an incident where I really thought that I was going to die where he. Threatened to kill me, threatened to kill my mother, had the gun out, said you really, you know, I'm going to show you what real pain is.
[00:36:44] and it was, it was during that time that I started writing in a journal, which I call it a journal, but it was really like a legal tablet. And I'm down what happened the night before, rip the pages off, and then I put it in my office and I let my [00:37:00] sisters know, look, if anything ever happens to me, have a journal.
[00:37:02] it was. And, told him it was in my office and the outside of the folder said, I'm sorry if you're reading this, it means I'm dead. I wish I could have told you this while I was live. And it was my journal that progressed to a point where he had repeatedly told me, look, you know, no one's ever going to believe you.
[00:37:20] You, and you walk in that port house every single day. You've got unlimited resources at your fingertips. And if you try to use this, there's not going to be any proof. And I think, like in the back of my mind. Mmm. To prove to myself that it was happening because I was being told so much, no one's going to believe you.
[00:37:41] Nothing's happening to you. You're overreacting. That was my outlet. And the journaling, turned into, I would take a picture of an injury and print it out and then put it in my office so that it was not on my device or anywhere. So you could see it. [00:38:00] Mmm. He would say some really horrible threatening things, like he was going to drown us all in the bathtub and set the house on fire.
[00:38:09] and so it was during one of these incidents that he, left and then call me on the phone and we were talking on the phone and he was saying these really horrible things. and it was that time I decided I should record this. Because nobody's going to believe he's saying the things he's saying. So the first time I ever told him to report it, a phone call, I went and got handheld tape recorder because I didn't, you know, it wasn't fluent and recording apps.
[00:38:40] And this was, Mmm. 2011. So, you know, it's more common now. But anyway, so I held a handheld tape recorder to my phone and that call, you know, like he said on that call, he was going to bite my trachea out of my throat.
[00:38:57] Brian Beckcom: [00:38:57] Unbelievable
[00:39:00] [00:39:00] Mekisha Walker: [00:39:00] to tell you right now. She said that without having the audio.
[00:39:08] Brian Beckcom: [00:39:08] Yeah, exactly. This is something that went on. I read this part of the book. This really hit me pretty hard because I think it's, there's no clear answer. There's a section where you, you basically say, your husband told you nobody's going to believe you because you've never reported it. No, you've never said anything.
[00:39:28] And I'm sitting there thinking, man, that is a, that is a difficult situation for a victim to be in because you don't want to just run to the cops over something that's not that big a deal. I mean, every couple has arguments. Every couple yells at each other and you don't want to just run to the cops. But the question is, when, when do you do that?
[00:39:48] And if you don't do that. Then for sure the abuser is gonna is gonna say exactly what your husband did. So you talk about, and I think this is super important, that's why I wanted to flag this. You talk in your [00:40:00] book about, I started writing a journal specifically because of what my husband said about this.
[00:40:05] So would
[00:40:06] Mekisha Walker: [00:40:06] you, for the
[00:40:08] Brian Beckcom: [00:40:08] people that are listening, that may may be in a situation similar to yours or know people that are in that, is that one of the big recommendations you have for people is keep some sort of secret journal just. So you have some evidence?
[00:40:21] Mekisha Walker: [00:40:21] Well, yeah, I mean, I think it's always a good idea if you're not sure what you're going to want to do, you know?
[00:40:27] And I think journaling mentally, is helpful because, you know, you can't go and talk to people about it or you feel like you can't because. You know that the person that you talk to is going to say, Hey, you need to get out of the relationship. Yeah. Possibly pass judgment on you or make you feel, make the victim feel like, you know, you're stupid for staying.
[00:40:47] It's, everyone can see it. Why don't you get out? And so I think one of the main reasons I wanted to be so, um. Open and [00:41:00] honest about specific situations in, in the detail that I used was because I want other people to, if they read the book to see, you know, look, it happened to her and the same thing's happening to me because this is all science driven.
[00:41:15] And the abuser is counting on the fact that the victim is not going to say anything. I think people are afraid to speak out for lots of reasons. You know, some people might have financial reasons, some people are scared, some people don't want to, you know, get a divorce and then have their husband get first, third.
[00:41:34] That weekend and not have any control. You know, the kids at the dad's house, and so they stay just to the home can say as one. I mean, there's all kinds of reasons.
[00:41:43] Brian Beckcom: [00:41:43] Some people, I think at least I've heard this, some people just blame themselves and they just say, this is all my fault that I put myself in this situation.
[00:41:54] Mekisha Walker: [00:41:54] they're very good at slipping the script in the audio that I have. you'll hear a [00:42:00] lot of. Why didn't you do this to me? Why did you make me do that? Yeah,
[00:42:05] Brian Beckcom: [00:42:05] I know. It's just bizarre listening to some of this stuff, like he's abusing you physically and he's mad. He's getting mad cause he's blaming his own abuse on you.
[00:42:14] It's just, it's bizarre. But tell us so. So what, there's a, there's a very vivid scene in the book about it. A incident involving an automobile. Good. Can you tell us a little bit about that incident and then talk about what it was that finally, finally convinced you to take some action on
[00:42:36] Mekisha Walker: [00:42:36] this. Well, it was actually that incident.
[00:42:39] So, that was the culminating incident. It was the first time that he'd ever assaulted me outside of the home. I had to be transported to the hospital. I got, over a hundred stitches, rainbow shape starting here. Going over to my left here, a hundred stitches, staples, and,
[00:42:58] Brian Beckcom: [00:42:58] and explain to the listeners like, [00:43:00] like what exactly it was that happened because there's something really, really, really important in the way you described the story, the way you're describing it as you, he was basically driving you someplace.
[00:43:11] Mekisha Walker: [00:43:11] Where
[00:43:11] Brian Beckcom: [00:43:11] there was nobody else there. And I actually listened to a podcast from an international security expert, a guy named Gavin de Becker. He's, he's like in charge of Jeff Bezos, his security and stuff like that. And he had two bits of advice that I tell all the women in my life. I've got a daughter and I've been married for almost 20 years now.
[00:43:30] One of them is. if somebody tries to duct you and take you to a different location, you should do everything you can to resist that, that that is the worst thing you could do is let somebody move you to a different location. So as I'm reading your book and you're describing being driven to some dark, essentially a dark back alley, I'm just in my head thinking, Oh, this is not going to be good.
[00:43:52] So tell us, describe the experience if you.
[00:43:59] Mekisha Walker: [00:43:59] That [00:44:00] particular night. it was the, Harris County criminal defense lawyers association Christmas party, which is a big deal that happens every year. It's well attended by judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and it's a good time. well, at that party, a colleague of mine who at the time was a prosecutor, did like a drive by slap on the ass, and I was standing right next to my ex husband and he freaked out.
[00:44:24] Um. Long story short, he went around the club trying to find him, and then we ended up leaving. I didn't want to ride home in the car with them, and I made some calls to try to get them picked up, but it didn't work. He promised, you know, nothing's going to happen. I'm not mad at you. I'm mad at him. And then when he got in the car, um.
[00:44:44] He kept telling me, I'm taking you to the police station and you're going to file an assault report on this guy. And I said, no, I'm not. He's a prosecutor. I work with them everyday. I'm not filing an assault report. Yes you are. No, I'm not. Yes you are. No, I'm not. And then he just backhanded me like this with, he was [00:45:00] driving, so I was writing, he only hit me once, but it instantly broke my nose.
[00:45:04] There was blood everywhere. and we were coming up to the light at Kirby and 59 to go South, get on 59. And he pulled in the Hooter's parking lot and started to drive behind the hop where it was dark. And, something in me, very loudly told me, you can not go back there and you need to get on the floor.
[00:45:28] Brian Beckcom: [00:45:28] Danger. Danger, by the way, not to interrupt you, but that's another thing Rebecca says is trust your intuition. Trust your gut like that. It's there for a reason. We've been, as we've evolved as humans, to have, have these like almost subconscious. Danger sensors. You were, you, your sensors were going off at the time.
[00:45:48] Right. And,
[00:45:49] Mekisha Walker: [00:45:49] you know, I think that's, I mentioned in the book that that's one of the thing that, bothers me to this day was my, and ability to [00:46:00] not hear my guts. Yeah. I've always been able to get a really good read on people. it's helped me be a better trial attorney cause I can connect with people in what I are.
[00:46:10] Mmm. And my guts always right. When I picked someone. It's weird. Yeah. But with him, he got past me. Yeah. It's so charming and so manipulative that it got to a point where I didn't realize that I was dismissing these red flags.
[00:46:30] Brian Beckcom: [00:46:30] So you're, so he takes you, he, he, he breaks your nose with one punch in this parking lot and what, what happens next?
[00:46:38] Mekisha Walker: [00:46:38] I pushed up the lock on the Tahoe and I was going to step out onto the running board and just walk away cause he was going very, very slow. Well, he saw me lift the lock and realized I was getting out and so he immediately punched the gas to turn to go back behind the IOP. And when he did that caused me to fall out and my head hit the ground first.
[00:46:57] Um. It was the first thing to hit the [00:47:00] ground. And so it, that's what caused that major gash. You could see my skull. he fled, left the scene, and, people were calling nine 11 telling them that got run over by a car because how bad my injury was. And then he ended up coming back to the scene and getting out of the car and trying to tell all the witnesses, look, it's okay.
[00:47:20] This is my wife. I'm a police officer. Everything's fine. Mmm. Thankfully, the one of the witnesses took his car keys and he ended up running away on foot. Mmm. That incident for me was. I think definitely what did it, but I think the reason it did is because I had worked so long and so hard to keep everything a secret and put on this facade, you know, I have a normal life.
[00:47:50] I have a normal marriage. Nothing's wrong, everything's fine. And finally it was, the secret was out. And so that point I felt more comfortable. [00:48:00] Um. But it took me many years. I mean, after this happened, I tried for years to get people to forget about it and didn't want to talk about it, didn't want to do anything with it.
[00:48:09] Brian Beckcom: [00:48:09] It's, it's interest. It's so interesting to me to hear that, and I think this is really important also for our listeners, because I can imagine you as a former prosecutor who did domestic violence cases, you know about domestic violence, and you have a reputation as a. Good criminal defense lawyer. And you don't want people to know about this, like there's, and so you're probably thinking, well, I should know even better than most people because of what I did for work.
[00:48:38] But, but that's not really true. I mean, I can imagine, you know, you might have somebody that is a stay at home mom that has a great, what appears to be a great life, but she has things like this going on in her background that nobody knows about. And one of the reasons may be that women in general or, or abuse victim is in general, don't want to report this stuff is because of the, the [00:49:00] embarrassment and the, and the shame of this stuff getting out and, but, but then once it was public, I hear what you're saying is once it came out, then it was kind of.
[00:49:09] Like the cat was out
[00:49:10] Mekisha Walker: [00:49:10] of the bag. Yeah. Because I was very concerned about my reputation and the impacts that this relationship might have on that reputation. And
[00:49:19] Brian Beckcom: [00:49:19] what would I tell people? What would you tell women that had those kinds of concerns? Like, like women that were worried about this sort of thing, becoming public?
[00:49:29] What, what, what would you tell them.
[00:49:31] Mekisha Walker: [00:49:31] Well, I would tell them that, once you really start looking at things, you'll find that victims of domestic violence and survivors are some of your strongest people because they're able to survive mentally and get through everything they have to get through. But you know what?
[00:49:51] I try to tell people in my book and what I tried to convey by the detailed things that I talked about was. [00:50:00] That although it is personal and you can feel shame, it's not your fault and things get better if you talk about it.
[00:50:11] Brian Beckcom: [00:50:11] Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's interesting how when things come out in the open, when when you shine a light on it, it, it sometimes it brings down the shame or the fear or whatever emotions you're feeling so.
[00:50:27] So what happened after the, after the incident, you said you were taken to the hospital. Walk us through kind of how, how the relationship progressed after that.
[00:50:37] Mekisha Walker: [00:50:37] Well, at that point I made a decision that I didn't want to be with him anymore. it was just Tiffany for me. Are. My daughter is now, at the time was five months.
[00:50:50] Yeah. So I took her and say to my mom's house, got everything I needed out of the other house, and [00:51:00] was scared to tell him that he was asking me to come home. And I was scared to tell him that I wasn't going to come home because I was afraid that it would be too much and he would snap. So initially I didn't tell him that I wanted to leave him and I told him, look, I just need some time.
[00:51:13] I'm going to stay at my mom's for a little while. But. January 1st I told him that, you know, look, I don't want to be in this relationship anymore. I don't want to be abused anymore. I actually made a copy of all my journal and I left it on the porch for him with a letter and told him, I just, I just want to be left alone.
[00:51:31] Brian Beckcom: [00:51:31] There's a story that there's something that, not to interrupt you, but you talk about putting your fingerprints on each page of your journal. Tell us, cause that really, I was like, Whoa, what a great idea that is. Why did you do that?
[00:51:45] Mekisha Walker: [00:51:45] Well, for the same reason that I kept the journal, I didn't have any attention when I created this pile of documents, when I did it, that it was going to be used in court.
[00:51:55] My intention was that it was going to be used to explain to my family what [00:52:00] happened in my life. you know, cause he'd say before, I'll bury your body somewhere, the level find you. But I knew that, I told my sisters about the journal and so I knew they could get it and then they would know. And so. There was one point where things started escalating right before the Christmas events that I thought to myself, you know what?
[00:52:20] If he does murder me, which I felt was high probability, how would. You know, just thinking about a prosecutor, how would you get these notes into evidence? You're going to have to have a handwriting analysis. You're gonna have to have someone say yes, that's hers. And so to eliminate that step for the prosecutor, I got an iPad and just put my thumb on every page in my journal.
[00:52:42] Brian Beckcom: [00:52:42] Unbelievable. Unbelievable. So. So you were, you were, I interrupted you, but you were talking about you had finally reached the breaking point and, you had a five month old daughter at the time. Grace. So how did you, how were you ultimately able to [00:53:00] separate, because you know, there's a couple of other things we haven't talked about.
[00:53:03] Your ex husband was an elected official at one point. Right? As a matter of fact, I think this is really funny because. When I, when, when we were setting up this interview before we had met, I heard my Kesha Walker and I thought you were black and you talk about that in your book. And, and really the name is from a, I think you said your mother named you after an Indian princess, but there was a point in time in which your husband, there was a point in time with your husband was literally when, when he was running for office.
[00:53:31] You talk about this in book making, you change your name.
[00:53:34] Mekisha Walker: [00:53:34] Yeah, we moved to another County and, um. I don't have a middle name. I've never had a middle name. but I've always been called my grandma's middle name. When I was growing up, they call me Mekisha. Jane and Jane was remained, and so he wanted me to change my name to Jane, so I legally did a name change where I added Jane as my middle name officially.
[00:53:56] And so I could go by that so I could get it on my chest everywhere, so [00:54:00] that when I would attend these political functions with him, that's how I would be known. Because he doesn't want anyone to think that he was married.
[00:54:07] Brian Beckcom: [00:54:07] Yeah. And that was a political thing. But that's just another example. And there's all sorts of examples littered throughout the book of this extremely manipulative.
[00:54:18] Behavior. So how did you finally, and by the way, Makita, I have a call at three, but I'm having such a good time. If you have a few more minutes, can we keep going? Yeah. Okay. So, cause there's, there's a couple of things that are super important that I want to make sure that everybody hears from you about, but how were you finally able to separate and how did that all work and how are things going for you now on that front?
[00:54:42] Mekisha Walker: [00:54:42] So, um. My supervisor at the DA's office when I had been there, she was still there. She, was trying to call me the detective that the case had been referred to. He was trying to call me. So, and I was still talking to Luke at this point, [00:55:00] and we were living, I was living in with my mom, and so, Mmm. Sorry, I lost my train of thought.
[00:55:08] Brian Beckcom: [00:55:08] but how you finally got separated from him finally got away from this.
[00:55:12] Mekisha Walker: [00:55:12] So, you know, the secret's out. And, I knew that this was my opportunity to break away with, if I used caution and did it in a way that didn't trigger her. so the divorce proceedings started, you know, they became. Contested until he finally agreed to give up rights to grace and relinquish his parental rights.
[00:55:37] And so then, you know, we were agreed again. And then his son, who I had raised since four and adopted him, and he was, I think 13 at the time, sent me a text message saying, you know what? My dad's been talking about killing himself, and I think he had taken me with him and I think he's going to do it. And so I went and got him, and then the divorce can contest it at that point because he [00:56:00] said he's willing to agree to termination on grace because she didn't want to pay child support on a kid for 18 years that I was going to brainwash anyway, but he wasn't willing to terminate us to Ryan.
[00:56:11] Ultimately, he ended up agreed, parental rights were terminated on both children. And, um. Aye. During that time period, in 2012 reconnected with a high school friend that I talked about in the book, and he's actually my husband now. I talk about, he's adopted grace and, grace knows that she's adopted and she's totally okay with it.
[00:56:36] But you know, I mentioned it in the book, but I would literally go through everything I went through in that whole relationship a hundred times more to be where I am today, to be with someone who knows how to treat a woman and who is not mean to you. Obviously doesn't hit you. And who's a good and just a good partner, you know, you like hanging out with them [00:57:00] at the end of the story is a happy ending.
[00:57:02] You know, I'm in a good place. he, he ended up my ex, um. Had several cases going on. There was an assault here and Harris County, and then one in Galveston, and then he also got a DVR in Galveston. He ended up pleading guilty on all three cases. he took an eight year deferred on an aggravated assault out of Galveston County, and.
[00:57:25] After five years was requesting to get off the probation. So, I decided that I would agree to that because he wanted to move out of state. I would with that if he agreed to a lifetime protective order. So conceivably he moved really far away. doesn't live here anymore, has a new wife, has kids with her.
[00:57:45] So, it ended great.
[00:57:49] Brian Beckcom: [00:57:49] Good. Well, I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm so happy to hear that. And so, so let me, I have a couple questions that I think are really important that, [00:58:00] that people want to hear from, from you about. So question number one is, and I know this is a long answer, and it's a complicated answer, but why did you stay?
[00:58:12] What's the answer to that question?
[00:58:14] Mekisha Walker: [00:58:14] So, you know, I chose this as the book cover because it was the most commonly asked question. And I think people don't understand that when you ask someone that that's been a victim of domestic violence, it's the equivalent to saying how stupid are you? Why are you stuck in that relationship?
[00:58:32] Brian Beckcom: [00:58:32] You're
[00:58:32] Mekisha Walker: [00:58:32] right. Yeah. But I, you know, I used to say the same thing about the victims that I would represent as a prosecutor. I mean, what's wrong with her? Yeah. And so there's this. I think one of the reasons people don't talk about it, women don't come forward is because there's this shame and having, you know, allowed someone to do this to you repeatedly and not be smart enough to pick yourself up and move out of that situation.
[00:58:54] So, initially why did I stay was because I loved him and [00:59:00] I was in love with the person who he pretended to be not knowing that the person who was being was actually that the evil one that's slowly over time morphed into, a state of confusion. Like, do I want to stay? Do you want to want to go? Do I want to, you know, try to help him get better mentally and get through this and not have another failed marriage.
[00:59:22] Or, you know, and then to ultimately to a point where there's threats to kill my family, threats to kill me. And I actually believed that if I left, there would be no where to go. Yeah. Yeah,
[00:59:35] Brian Beckcom: [00:59:35] that's, boy, that's something that most people, including me, I haven't thought about. Like if you leave, it's not like, what are you going to do?
[00:59:41] Go live on the street. I mean, there's just all these sorts of questions that unless you're in the situation, it's hard to.
[00:59:49] Mekisha Walker: [00:59:49] Right? I mean, you can change cars, so you can say in a different house, but most people can change their jobs. Yeah. That particular pattern.
[00:59:56] Brian Beckcom: [00:59:56] The gray point. Yeah.
[01:00:00] [00:59:59] Mekisha Walker: [00:59:59] Because you know, the husband or the abuser knows the routine so they know where you parked.
[01:00:03] They know what time you go to work. and if they wanted to find you, they could.
[01:00:09] Brian Beckcom: [01:00:09] That is a great, great segue into, what, what I think is a crucial. Topic. Right now, we're, we're in the middle of a pandemic and everybody's anxious to begin with. Some people are depressed, some people are drinking too much, some people are having anger problems.
[01:00:29] and we're all, for the most part, kind of cooped in close together. And so there's been stories that domestic violence has been on the rise, which is not surprising. I don't think that anybody, what would you tell people? and I'm, I'm not just talking about. Victims of domestic violence. I'm talking about their friends and people that are around them.
[01:00:51] What would you tell them in terms of the signs, and I know we've already talked about this a little bit, but the red flags, the things to look for, and then secondarily, [01:01:00] what would your advice be to people in that situation? And it's like I said, it's particularly complicated right now. When you're on a pandemic, I mean, if you're a victim of domestic violence right now, where are you going to?
[01:01:13] I mean, seriously, where are you going to go? What can you do? So
[01:01:17] Mekisha Walker: [01:01:17] there's that fear of, you know, if the police do come out that night and he gets arrested and he's just gonna make bond and then he's back even angrier than he was before.
[01:01:25] Brian Beckcom: [01:01:25] Exactly. Yeah.
[01:01:27] Mekisha Walker: [01:01:27] So, you said first.
[01:01:32] Brian Beckcom: [01:01:32] What, so what kind of signs? Because I, you know, there's a lot of people that, that I think are like, aye.
[01:01:39] Clearly somebody hitting somebody else and breaking their nose. That's clearly domestic violence and an argument where you're just yelling at each other. That's just normal. That happens. So how do you differentiate between
[01:01:53] Brian Beckcom: [01:01:53] over the line behavior, true domestic? Like what kind of signs, but looking, I know at the time maybe you didn't [01:02:00] recognize it, but looking back now.
[01:02:02] What would you, what kind of signs would you
[01:02:03] Mekisha Walker: [01:02:03] tell people to look for? I think I'm making excuses. If you find yourself making excuse after excuse for someone else's, excuse me, behavior, you have to ask yourself, um. Why am I having to excuse his behavior? Why can't he excuse his own and why does he keep doing those things to make you have to feel like I'm going to forgive him?
[01:02:26] So you know, it's like right now with this pandemic, you know, it's like you spend the night at your best friend's house when you were a kid three nights in a row. And by the end of that, you remember you're arguing and you know the lockdown and the home confinement has been kind of like that on steroids in a normal relationship.
[01:02:45] He might have. You know, somebody, they have an argument and then one person leaves to go cool off. Well, that's not as easily done. Everything's heightened, everything's more intense. And so, you know, my advice [01:03:00] to a victim would be, you know, there's a lot of resources out there that talk about how to make a plan.
[01:03:06] Specific things about how to wrap whole money away so you can have someone you need, any particular
[01:03:13] Brian Beckcom: [01:03:13] resources that you, like, specific ones that you would recommend.
[01:03:18] Mekisha Walker: [01:03:18] Mmm, I mean, obviously you've got the, you know, national, victim of domestic violence website and that's going to have resources that can connecting locally.
[01:03:31] but. There's just a lot of stuff out there on the internet. I don't think there's like one particular place that has everything that I've looked at. I mean, kind of click around, but. They all, all the websites have an escape button, so if he were to walk in the room, you can just hit
[01:03:48] Brian Beckcom: [01:03:48] leave. Really? Wow.
[01:03:50] Interesting. Yeah.
[01:03:51] Mekisha Walker: [01:03:51] Real quick. So you don't get caught because you
[01:03:54] Brian Beckcom: [01:03:54] guys are kind of thing that people that haven't been through this then I don't even, I wouldn't even consider that. I wouldn't even think about that. [01:04:00] There's all sorts of things like that that unless you've been through it. You just don't even think about like, Oh, do I need to erase my web browsing history?
[01:04:09] You know, stuff like that.
[01:04:11] Mekisha Walker: [01:04:11] Yeah. And you know, typically people that are abusers are the type of person that are jealous and they're going to be looking at things like that. So you have to be careful. But. So much information and so many resources out there, to help people get out of these relationships.
[01:04:26] you know, not just financially, but you know how to learn how to, you know, live without being dependent to someone else.
[01:04:34] Brian Beckcom: [01:04:34] So what would you, and I don't mean to call you out, but let's say somebody is listening to this podcast right now and they want to, they want to reach out to you. How would, how would they get in?
[01:04:46] Cause you run a successful criminal, a defense law firm right now. And so there may be some people that either would want to just reach out to you directly or they want to get a copy of the book. So tell people how, first of all, where they can get a copy [01:05:00] of the book. number two, where on, online or elsewhere, they can get in touch with you if they want
[01:05:06] Mekisha Walker: [01:05:06] to.
[01:05:07] Sure. So the book is available on Amazon, Barnes and noble, and also my website at, but why didn't you say.com there's contact information for me in the website and also on the website. We've talked a little bit about evidence collection, so. As you read the book, there's a section on the website that says chapter attachments, and you can pull it down and it has a corresponding chapter, chapter one, chapter two.
[01:05:32] And so the things that I talk about in that chapter, whether it's a nine 11 call or a photograph or an audio recording, it's under that tab. So you can look at photos, you can hear thanks. Because you know, tone is, is very, important in situations like this. And, I think that a lot of women will find connection because they'll have experienced similar things.
[01:05:58] But the other thing I wanted to do was [01:06:00] really try to get through to people, you know, we all have a daughter, a sister, a mom, females in our life that we care about. And if you as a person think that domestic violence is not going to come to your doorstep, couldn't happen to someone that you love. You know, like your daughter, then you're not going to be as aware and therefore not able as able to help them.
[01:06:27] And there's lots of resources about how to help without getting shut out because it's a fine line because if you know the victim feels like. They're not quite ready to leave yet. A timeline is being pushed. You have to get out. You have to get out. That can cause a situation where the victim completely shuts down and stops talking to that person.
[01:06:44] And so then you're completely out and you have no way to help.
[01:06:47] Brian Beckcom: [01:06:47] Yeah. Well, Mekisha I'm cognizant of your time. this has been an unbelievable interview. you're a warrior, by the way. You've been through a lot, [01:07:00] and I cannot tell you how important this kind of stuff is, especially now when we're going.
[01:07:08] But you know, all of the normal day to day stress has been multiplied by 10. The anxiety, the uncertainty, we're all staying together in the same place. so this kind of thing is. I think even more important. It's always important, but it's even more important now. And people like hearing from people like you and the fact that you took the time to wrote a write a book about this, I think is phenomenal.
[01:07:31] I think, you're going to help a lot of people, with your book and with your advice on this podcast and elsewhere. So. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. yeah. Th this, this was, you know, I want to say it was a lot of fun, but that might not be the right word given the topic, but, but it, it was, it was super interesting to hear from you.
[01:07:53] And, I hope we will be in touch again soon.
[01:07:58] Mekisha Walker: [01:07:58] Yes. Thank you so much. Take care.
[01:08:00] [01:08:00] Brian Beckcom: [01:08:00] Thank you.
[01:08:00] Mekisha Walker: [01:08:00] Okay, goodbye.