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SAN JOSE � A “surprise” prosecution witness in the Mike Walker case is slated to take the stand Monday, pushing closing arguments in the state drug agent’s manslaughter trial off for at least another day. Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Lane Liroff announced earlier this week that he would call a woman to the stand to refute claims made by Walker about the day he shot and killed a fleeing man he mistook for a dangerous fugitive. Walker, 34, maintains that he shot Rodolfo “Rudy” Cardenas out of self-defense. The California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement agent says Cardenas had his hands by his waist and appeared to be reaching for a gun as he ran down a residential alleyway on Feb. 17, 2004. Walker testified that he felt he had no other option but to kill or be killed. Liroff, however, said his surprise witness, Sherrie Green, will dispute Walker’s testimony. Green was apparently on her way to church when she made a wrong turn and witnessed part of the fatal foot chase. She said she never saw Cardenas put his hands near his waist, according to Liroff. Having never come forward before now, Green recently contacted the Santa Clara DA’s office and told prosecutors that she thought they’d be interested in hearing her story. Green reportedly decided to come forward after hearing about the case on television. This new development received a sharp rebuff by Walker’s attorney, Craig Brown, who complained that he didn’t know about the new witness and wouldn’t have time to prepare. Brown said Thursday he has no plans to file a motion opposing Green’s testimony. Walker took the stand last week and spent four days giving jurors his version of what happened in the alley toward the end of his pursuit of Cardenas, whom he thought was an armed and dangerous parolee with gang ties. Walker repeatedly told jurors that he thought Cardenas had a gun and was going to turn it on him. The only weapon found on Cardenas, who was high on methamphetamines, was a small folding knife. Cardenas also had an arrest record, and police also found meth in his car. Walker’s lawyer has suggested that Cardenas, a father of five, was trying to pull a “suicide by cop.” But Liroff has argued that Walker is a brash young cop who pulled his trigger too soon. If convicted, Walker, the first BNE agent to ever be charged with killing someone in the line of duty, could be sent to prison for more than a decade. He is on paid administrative leave. The case is People v. Walker, 210885.

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