Death sentence upheld for Jerry Lard in Trumann police officers shooting

    4:22 PM, Jan 9, 2014   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction for a man sentenced to death for fatally shooting a police officer during a traffic stop in northeast Arkansas.

    The court on Thursday rejected a request for a new trial and upheld the death sentence for Jerry Lard, who was convicted in the 2011 shooting death of Trumann police officer Jonathan Schmidt.

    The court rejected several of Lard's arguments, including his objection to prosecutors showing jurors dash-cam videos of the shooting. Lard's defense attorneys admitted their client fatally shot Schmidt, but argued at trial that Lard suffered from a mental disease or defect.

    In Thursday's ruling, the court said that Lard couldn't prevent the admission of the dash-cam video into evidence simply by conceding to the facts of the crime.

    In a statement released on Thursday, Scott Ellington, Prosecuting Attorney of the Second Judicial District stated: "I am pleased that the Arkansas Supreme Court upheld the verdict and death sentence of Jerry Lard. However, I feel that the court missed an opportunity to clarify the law that would allow a victim's family the right to be present and remain in the courtroom during a capital murder trial, even if they will be testifying as a witness in the sentencing phase."


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