Trooper Pleads Not Guilty In Shooting Death Of Innocent Man
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 22, 2006
BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS--State Police trooper Larry Norman has pleaded not guilty to charges of misdemeanor negligent homicide in the March 7 shooting death of Joseph "Erin" Hamley.
Norman had been scheduled for arraignment on Monday in Benton County Circuit Court, but his attorney filed paperwork last Thursday waiving the appearance. A hearing in the case is now scheduled for July 17, with a jury trial set for September 26. If convicted, Norman could face a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Last month, a Benton County special grand jury indicted Norman after determining that he shot 21-year-old Hamley -- an innocent man who had cerebral palsy, an intellectual disability, and mental illness -- after mistaking him for a Michigan prison escapee. In fact, the grand jury concluded, the unarmed Hamley was likely following Norman's orders to roll over onto his stomach when the trooper fired the fatal shot.
The grand jury also expressed concern about a lack of communication and coordination between the state officers and county sheriff's deputies that were on the scene.
Norman is currently on paid leave from the department pending the outcome of the case. The department's Lethal Force Review Board is also reviewing the circumstances surrounding Hamley's shooting.
"Trooper pleads not guilty in shooting" (Benton County Daily Record)
"Erin Hamley: Innocent Man Shot By State Trooper" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)