An Arkansas man was pulled over for running a stop sign. When he tried to flee, he opened fire and shot one of the cops.
Now, he’ll never walk free again.
Recently in Arkansas, Garland County Circuit Judge Marcia Hearnsberger handed Kayvon Ward, 24, two consecutive life terms for the shooting death of Hot Springs police officer Brent Scrimshire. After a four-day trial, Ward was found guilty and convicted by a jury of first-degree murder, aggravated assault against an officer, possession of a defaced firearm, resisting arrest, obstructing government operations and fleeing.
On March 10, 2020, Scrimshire and his partner, Anthony Larkin, pulled over Ward after he ran a stop sign. According to prosecutors, Ward tried to flee the scene before pulling out his handgun and fatally shooting the victim above his body armor.
Then, Ward shot toward Larkin but missed.
“How do you imagine the impact of someone you work with and care about shot and killed? Till this day I am mixed with guilt and appreciation. I get to be with my family but Brent doesn’t. What if I had done something different?” said Larkin during the sentencing hearing, according to KATV.
During the trial, Ward testified he did not shoot Scrimshire intentionally. Instead, the defendant wanted the victim to take cover while he fled. Later, Ward’s lawyer William James asked the jury to convict his client on a lesser charge of first-degree murder instead of capital murder as prosecutors demanded.
Ward’s defense team also called a psychologist who testified the defendant was suffering from schizophrenia. To corroborate the psychologist’s report, Ward’s father, Kevin Ward, told the jury his son was a good kid and shared a similar diagnosis with other members of the family. As a result, he noticed a change in Ward three years prior after the defendant started smoking marijuana.
After 30 minutes of deliberation, the jury agreed to convict Ward on the lesser charge, allowing him to avoid the death penalty.
Then the judge ordered Ward to serve both life sentences consecutively at the Arkansas Correctional Department.
“There is no excuse for your actions and the pain and suffering you caused for so many people,” said, Hearnsberger to the defendant reported ABC News.
Scrimshire’s wife expressed her displeasure at the conviction but said she was happy with the sentence.