Lawyer seeks to reopen investigation of police shooting of Eugene Ellison | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Lawyer seeks to reopen investigation of police shooting of Eugene Ellison

Posted By on Sat, Oct 15, 2016 at 7:47 AM

click to enlarge NEW INVESTIGATION: Michael Laux (right) wants a new investigation of the death of Eugene Ellison, whose photo is behind him and another attorney. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • NEW INVESTIGATION: Michael Laux (right) wants a new investigation of the death of Eugene Ellison, whose photo is behind him and another attorney.

Michael Laux,
attorney for the family of Eugene Ellison, slain by a Little Rock police officer in his apartment in 2010, has written Prosecuting Attorney Larry Jegley asking him to reopen a criminal investigation of that death.

The family, which includes one current and one former Little Rock office, has received a $900,000 settlement from the city in the death, but state and federal officials had previously said there wasn't sufficient evidence to mount a criminal case. Ellison was killed by a shot from outside his apartment by one of two police officers working off-duty as private security. They said he had threatened them with a cane when they entered the apartment to inquire about his well-being.

Laux's request arises from information he's developed in a separate lawsuit against the police over the killing of a car burglary suspect, Bobby Moore, by Officer Josh Hastings. Two trials of Hastings ended in hung juries.

Laux's letter details an autopsy finding on the downward trajectory of the bullet that killed Ellison that seems to contradict the account of Officer Donna Lesher. She said Ellison was standing upright and swinging his cane when he was shot.  The letter also questions the sufficiency of the homicide investigation by a police division that was headed by Lesher's husband. It notes depositions from several officers, including Assistant Chief Wayne Bewley and former Chief Stuart Thomas in which they can't explain a failure to ask some of the questions raised by the autopsy. Bewley thinks the matter should be investigated further, Laux's letter says. Under oath in the Moore case, Thomas is quoted as saying Ellison could not have been standing when Lesher shot him.

When asked if the LRPD dropped the ball during the investigation, Chief Thomas responded, "I don't know."
The letter notes other officers with testimony damaging to the original conclusions about the case.  Capt. Heath Helton of the LRPD training division said it was a violation of rules for an officer to fire from outside a building to the inside, as Lesher had done, unless the officer or someone else was drawing fire. He also acknowledged the contradiction in the autopsy testimony.



The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote about these documents in an article today. In that article, Prosecutor Jegley declined to comment. But Police Chief Kenton Buckner said the department would not investigate further.

Tags: , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Rapert will introduce anti-abortion 'trigger' law, despite public opinion to the contrary

    Sen. Jason Rapert has announced on Facebook his plans to file this week a so-called trigger law — like those passed in four other states — that would make abortion illegal in Arkansas immediately if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Polling suggests the majority would oppose it.
    • Jan 21, 2019
  • A cautionary casino tale from Tunica, Miss.

    The Los Angeles Times reports on the sagging casino economy in Tunica, Miss., a sag due in part to increasing national competition.
    • Jan 21, 2019
  • Fact check: The annual anti-abortion march

    The annual abortion protest marches were held around the country Sunday and, as usual, press accounts duly quoted the misinformation repeated there. From the coverage of the Arkansas march, this stood out:
    • Jan 21, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation