Attorney for Vaillancourt says client wasn't aware she's been in the public eye
SOUTH SALT LAKE — The attorney for Traci Lee Vaillancourt, arrested as part of the investigation into the fatal shooting of a Draper police officer, met with his client for the first time Sunday evening.
Matthew Kober met with Vaillancourt for about two hours at the Salt Lake County Metro Jail. He said his client is being held in the medical unit. She is in a wheelchair and an arm sling while she recovers, in a lot of pain and is on medication, Kober said.
"I asked a lot of questions. She answered to the best of her recollection," he said. "This is the first time I've been able to meet with her to understand her side of the story and find out her version of events. We're finding out everything about as quickly as the media is," he said.
Vaillancourt was arrested Saturday for investigation of two counts of obstruction of justice. According to jail booking documents, Vaillancourt was interviewed by detectives from the Unified Police Department on Sept. 1, 4 and 7. She gave details about the case and statements on the 4th and 7th that were both inconsistent with her prior interviews and did not match the physical evidence, according to police.
Vaillancourt, 34, was with her longtime boyfriend, Timothy Troy Walker, 35, on the morning of Sept. 1 when investigators believe Walker shot and killed Draper Police Sgt. Derek Johnson without provocation or warning, and shot Vaillancourt. Walker then turned the gun on himself, according to police.
Both were admitted to Intermountain Medical Center before Vaillancourt was released Saturday and placed under arrest. Walker remained in critical condition at the hospital on Sunday.
Since being hospitalized, Kober said his client had been kept isolated from the outside world, including her family. He said Vaillancourt had not been allowed to watch any news coverage and was unaware that her name was already out in the public.
Investigators still believed Sunday that Vaillancourt was one of Walker's two shooting victims. What investigators did not know Sunday was whether Vaillancourt was shot before or after Johnson.
Kober declined to get into many details about what he discussed with his client and noted that he still needed to talk to police to find out what statements she made that they believed were inconsistent.
"There are still some facts I want to follow up and understand better," he said. "She is aware multiple shots were fired. She expressed her concern for the fallen officer and is in a very emotional state.
"All along we thought she was a victim in this matter," Kober said.
Kober said Walker was not discussed much Sunday night.
"She is concerned about the health status of Troy and that's really about all we talked about in terms of Troy," he said.
Kober called the case a "sensitive matter on both sides of the fence" and expressed his gratitude for being able to meet with her Sunday to get her side of the story.
He will now wait for formal charges to be screened by the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office as well as making an appearance before a judge to find out if there is a possibility of getting a bail reduction. Vaillancourt is currently being held on $500,000 bail.
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