Court records: Son killed mother over stolen change

By Eric

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- A murder victim's adopted son is charged with her murder and court records say it was all over a "large amount of change."

Charleston police say Walker Pinkleton shot 59-year-old Patricia Walker once in the back of the head, killing the woman who raised him since he was a child.

Police say Pinkleton, the 21-year-old first called a person of interest in his adoptive mother's murder, is responsible for killing Patricia Walker.

The county coroner says Pinkleton shot Mrs. Walker once in the back of the head in their home sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning. Pinkleton was officially charged with murder Tuesday afternoon.

"He was a caring person at first, and then once you got on his bad side he was after you, after that," said Blake McCormick, an acquaintance of Pinkleton's. "He had a lot of anger and aggression, it was kind of like a spontaneous thing."

A judge denied bond on the murder charge Wednesday. Affidavits from the hearing say Pinkleton "took a safe out of his mother's bedroom, pried it open and removed a large amount of change."

Another witness told the court Pinkleton took the change to "two different change redemption machines."

Mrs. Walker's body was found early Sunday night, locked in her bedroom, in a West Ashley community. Friends and neighbors knew the woman and son well.

Those familiar with Pinkleton said they noticed recent mood swings, some without warning.

"From what I understand he's got violent the last few weeks, I don't know if he's just lost it," said Chris Stafford, the victim's neighbor.

"Once you got to know him (Pinkleton) he was one of the kids that you'd kind of want to stay away from," McCormick said.

Pinkleton currently has no job and is not in school. In court Monday, on the charge of stealing his parents' car, he said he was supported financially by Mrs. Walker.

The murder suspect also claimed he relies on a social security and suffers from mental disabilities.

Pinkleton is also charged with possession of a firearm during a violent crime.

*Matt LeBlanc and Sandra Ecklund contributed to this report.