Suspect in Fort Wayne Meijer clerk’s killing has trial date set

Rivera (Courtesy of the Allen County Sheriff's Department)

A man facing a murder charge in the Thanksgiving night shooting death of a gas station clerk has had his trial date set in Allen Superior Court.

Victor Rivera, 21, of the 5800 block of Kelso Lane, will be tried May 1-4 on two counts of murder; one count of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, a Level 2 felony; and one count of firearm used in the commission of offense. He’ll have a pretrial hearing Feb. 14 before Allen Superior Judge John Surbeck.

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Rivera, also known as Victor Esposito, is accused of killing Jacob Walerko, 25, a clerk at the Meijer gas station on Lima Road, on Nov. 23. Walerko was pronounced dead at the station after being shot in the head, according to the Allen County coroner’s office.

According to a probable cause affidavit, several people, including Rivera’s mother, identified him as the killer seen on surveillance video who took a carton of Newport cigarettes after the shooting. Also, friends said Rivera gave them packages of Newport cigarettes the night of the shooting, according to court documents.