Ex-Virginia Officer Convicted of Manslaughter in Fatal Shooting

A jury on Thursday convicted a former Virginia police officer on one count of voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed man last year in a Wal-Mart parking lot

A jury on Thursday convicted a former Virginia police officer on one count of voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed man last year in a Wal-Mart parking lot, reports the Virginian-Pilot.

The same jury also recommended that Stephen Rankin serve 2½ years in prison for killing 18-year-old William Chapman II. And Circuit Judge Johnny Morrison allowed him to remain free on bond until he is formally sentenced Oct. 12.

An attorney for the Chapman family plans to file a civil suit in the coming weeks against the city of Portsmouth and its former police chief. Rankin was fired from the department after he was indicted.

Rankin’s attorneys lamented the verdict. They said they would appeal and argued that Morrison should have allowed them to present more evidence.

Prosecutors initially sought to convict Rankin on charges of first-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The jury determined he was guilty only of the lesser manslaughter charge.

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