Crime

Grand Jury to Hear Case Against Jeweler Charged in Fatal Shove Following IJO Show

CrimeMay 01, 2024

Grand Jury to Hear Case Against Jeweler Charged in Fatal Shove Following IJO Show

Last month in Dallas, David Walton pushed another jeweler, David Ettinger, who later died.

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Editor's Note: This story was altered post-publication to update the date for the grand jury to hear the case against David Walton. It is now June 11, not May 7 as previously reported.

Dallas—A significant court date has been set in the case against New York jeweler David Walton, who is charged with assault in connection with the death of a fellow jeweler last month. 

The Dallas District Attorney’s Office said the case against Walton will go in front of a grand jury on June 11.

The 41-year-old owner of Hudson Valley Goldsmith in New Paltz, New York, was in Dallas attending the Independent Jewelers Organization (IJO) show, held March 9-12 at the Hilton Anatole.   

In evening hours of March 12, while in the hotel bar, Walton pushed another jeweler, David Ettinger, who died from his injuries the next day. 

According to a Dallas Police Department report, Walton was arrested and charged with aggravated assault some time on March 13.   

He is being represented by Dallas-based attorney Barry Sorrels, according to a public log for upcoming grand jury cases in Dallas County. 

Sorrels told National Jeweler, “Due to the sad and unfortunate circumstances that led to this investigation, we feel it would be inappropriate to litigate this matter in the news.  

“We would like to extend condolences to the Ettinger family. In the meantime, we intend to respect the investigative process. David Walton will share his story at the appropriate time in the appropriate forum.”   

 Related stories will be right here … 

According to accounts of the evening shared with National Jeweler, some attendees were hanging out in the hotel bar following the final day of the conference when the incident took place.

Officers arrived on the scene shortly after midnight on March 13, after Walton called 911 and said he pushed Ettinger, 69, “in response to being attacked,” according to an arrest-warrant affidavit obtained by the Dallas Morning News

He told police that Ettinger approached him about “a comment he made towards Ettinger’s spouse earlier in the evening,” and Ettinger “grabbed him by his arm,” so he pushed him, and he fell backward and struck his head on the floor.

Surveillance footage viewed by Dallas detectives and detailed in the affidavit shows Ettinger and Walton in the bar, both holding drinks.

Ettinger is then seen setting his drink down and approaching Walton. 

The video shows Ettinger put his hand on Walton’s upper arm, the two men talk, and then Walton pushes Ettinger by his neck backward, causing him to fall to the floor and strike his head, according to the affidavit as reported by the Dallas Morning News. 

By the time detectives arrived at the hotel, Walton had checked out and left.

Ettinger was transported to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he died around 5 p.m. on March 13, according to the medical examiner’s report. His manner of death was ruled a homicide.

He and his wife Lori, who owned Bechdel Jewelers in Inwood, West Virginia, had recently announced their retirement, and were attending the show as a final farewell. 

Ettinger had been a member of IJO for about 17 years, according to IJO President Stephen Barnes.  

“Dave’s legacy will live on through the many lives he touched throughout his illustrious career in the jewelry industry. We at IJO will miss Dave, but he will always be remembered as a kind, gentle soul. May he rest in peace,” Barnes said in a statement to National Jeweler last month. 

In his obituary, Ettinger’s family said he loved being a jeweler and described him as “a font of passion” who had genuine enthusiasm for his interests and hobbies, but also those of his friends. 

“He loved life and wanted to live forever,” his wife Lori Ettinger previously shared with National Jeweler. “He was a loving husband, father, son, sibling, and friend.” 

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