Hamley's Shooter Takes Early Retirement From Police
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 17, 2006
SPRINGDALE, ARKANSAS--The State Police officer who has been charged with negligent homicide in the March 7 shooting death of Joseph "Erin" Hamley, has been granted a medical retirement.
Trooper Larry Norman, 40, retired on August 1, the Arkansas News Bureau reported. His attorney said the retirement is related to psychological fallout from the shooting.
In April, 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.
The grand jury determined that Norman failed to follow instructions from a fellow state trooper to block traffic, instead bringing himself into the confrontation with Hamley. Norman was on the scene for less than one minute before he shot Hamley with his shotgun, the panel reported. They also concluded that the unarmed Hamley was likely following Norman's orders to roll over onto his stomach when the trooper fired the fatal shot.
Norman, who pleaded not guilty, had been on paid leave since the incident. A jury trial is scheduled for September 26. If convicted, Norman could face a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The department's Lethal Force Review Board is also reviewing the circumstances surrounding Hamley's shooting.
"Erin Hamley: Innocent Man Shot By State Trooper" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)