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Thread: Jerry D. Lard - Arkansas Death Row

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    Jerry D. Lard - Arkansas Death Row






    Suspect in Ark. officer's death pleads not guilty

    HARRISBURG, Ark. (AP) — A man charged with killing a police officer during a traffic stop in northeast Arkansas pleaded not guilty Friday to capital murder and several other charges.

    About a dozen relatives and friends of the late Trumann Officer Jonathan Schmidt sat silently in a Poinsett County Jail courtroom as attorneys for Jerry Lard entered the plea on his behalf.

    Lard was charged with capital murder, attempted capital murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of methamphetamine after he allegedly shot and killed Schmidt earlier this month.

    Lard, who was hospitalized following the clash with Schmidt and another officer stood near his attorneys, Teri Chambers and Jackie Wright, before he was taken back into custody. His attorneys didn't immediately return a message seeking comment.

    Scott Ellington, the district prosecutor in charge of the case, said he has not decided whether to seek the death penalty, but added that he hasn't ruled it out.

    Investigators said Schmidt pulled over a car in which Lard was a passenger on April 12 after he ran a license plate check that showed the car might not have insurance. Another officer, Sgt. Corey Overstreet arrived, a few minutes later.

    Schmidt approached the rear passenger door where Lard was sitting after he learned that there was a warrant out for his arrest. As Schmidt opened the door, Lard got out of the car and shot Schmidt and wounded him in the face, according to the police affidavit. Schmidt backed up and Lard turned and started firing at Overstreet, but did not injure him.

    The driver, Keith Elumbaugh, and another witness in the car told The Associated Press that while wounded, Schmidt managed to shove his sergeant to safety.

    At some point, Schmidt slumped near the right front fender of his patrol car, where he was later found with multiple gunshot wounds, according to the affidavit. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital sometime after midnight.

    Lard was wounded in the shootout and had been hospitalized under police guard until last week, when a judge ordered him to be jailed without bond. He's due back in court July 22.

    http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news...#ixzz1KwCfBsmo

  2. #2
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
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    There's been so many cop killings lately.
    Rip officer.

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    Judge sets trial date for man accused of killing Trumann Police Officer

    JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) A trial date has been set for the man accused of shooting and killing a Trumann Police Officer in April.

    According to Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, a judge set Jerry Lard's trail date for February 12, 2013. The judge also set a motions and plea date for September 16.

    Jerry Lard is accused of shooting and killing Trumann Police Officer Jonathan Schmidt on April 12 during a traffic stop.

    Investigators say Jerry Lard shot Officer Schmidt during a traffic stop at Cottonwood Manor Apartments. Schmidt had just pulled over this silver Hyundai because it was not covered by liability insurance. That's when police say Jerry Lard, one of four people in the Hyundai, shot and killed Schmidt.

    Ellington has filed capital murder charges against Lard but has not yet decided if he will seek the death penalty. Lard pleaded not guilty in April to capital murder and possession of meth.

    http://www.kait8.com/story/14453204/...ce-officercncp

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    Prosecutors seek death penalty for man charged with killing Ark. police officer

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a man they say killed an Arkansas police officer during a traffic stop earlier this year.

    A court document filed Wednesday in Poinsett County Circuit Court shows that the state is pursuing the death penalty in the capital murder trial of Jerry Lard.

    Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington declined comment after a judge issued a temporary gag order Wednesday. Defense attorney Teri Chambers also declined to comment after the judge granted her request for the gag order to limit pretrial publicity.

    Lard is charged with capital murder in the April shooting death of Trumann Police Officer Jonathan Schmidt. He's also charged with attempted capital murder and weapons and drug charges.

    He's pleaded not guilty and his trial is to start in February.

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/stor...lled-Arkansas/

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    Attorneys request more time in Arkansas murder case

    Attorneys for a man charged with capital murder in the death of a Trumann police officer have asked a judge to reschedule the trial so they have more time to prepare.

    The state is seeking the death penalty against Jerry Lard, who prosecutors say killed Trumann police officer Jonathan Schmidt in April.

    Lards trial is slated to begin Feb. 13. His attorneys are asking that the trial be continued at least until July.

    In court documents filed last week in Poinsett County, Lards lawyers said they need more time to prepare for the capital case because his life is at stake.

    One of his attorneys, Jacqueline Wright, and prosecutor Scott Ellington declined to comment Monday.

    Lard is being held in a nearby county jail.

    http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2...r-case/?latest

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    Judge moves man's trial from Poinsett County to Greene County for slaying of Trumann officer

    Trial for a man accused of killing a Trumann police officer will be moved from Poinsett County to Greene County.

    Circuit Judge Brent Davis of Jonesboro on Monday granted a defense request to move Jerry Lard's capital murder trial because of extensive news coverage of the April slaying of Officer Jonathan Schmidt.

    The Jonesboro Sun reports (http://is.gd/PgJP1k) trial is scheduled to start July 16 in Paragould. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

    Lard has pleaded not guilty.

    On April 12, Schmidt pulled over a vehicle in which Lard was a passenger and learned of a warrant for Lard's arrest. Court documents say that as Schmidt approached the rear passenger door where Lard was sitting, Lard got out of the car and shot Schmidt in the head.

    Another officer wounded Lard.

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/stor...lled-Arkansas/

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    Wife of slain AR officer speaks publicly for 1st time

    The wife of a former Arkansas police officer spoke publicly for the first time to Region 8 News after his death. Andrea Schmidt, wife of former Trumann Police Officer Jonathan Schmidt, remembered the events leading to her husband's death and the dark weeks that followed.

    "Jonathan and I knew each other our whole lives. We went to school together. It was at a homecoming football game here in town a few years after we graduated high school, and met up, hadn't seen each other in a couple of years, and it started from there," said Andrea, who married Jonathan September 4, 2004.

    Andrea said she was sleeping on a late April night when she woke up to the sound of then Police Chief Tony Rusher knocking on the window. At first, she thought it was Jonathan.

    "I walked to the front door and there is Tony Rusher and then Dale Parker and David Fagan, who is a volunteer firefighter here in town, but we're very close with them. He coached Haley three or four years in softball and we're very close with their family," said Andrea. "You know instantly when you have people standing at your door that something has happened and I was like I can't do this."

    Schmidt said she rode with officers to a Jonesboro hospital, where she learned her husband had been shot multiple times.

    "I remember seeing officers that work in Jonesboro that went to the academy with Jonathan. I remember seeing our friends that were officers for different agencies or friends that had gotten a phone call and they wanted to be there for us," said Andrea. "My thought was, ‘Okay, he's been shot. We're going to get through this. He'll be in ICU. I don't know where he was shot. He might be paralyzed, and we're going to get through this. We're going to work through this. I know therapists. I know plenty of people in the medical field, and we're going to get through this.' That's exactly what was going through my head, and as I was praying furiously, that's exactly (how I felt). I just wanted him to be okay."

    "I'm just sitting there in a daze, like what's going on, can anybody tell me anything? I don't know anything, and then the chaplain comes up and introduces himself and asks if we have a pastor," said Andrea. "As soon as I saw Dr. Short walking out of the room, I knew. He had that look, and I looked at him. He just kind of shook his head. I knew."

    Andrea, also a mother, said the next few hours were a blur.

    "I lost my best friend," said Andrea. "There's not one aspect of my life that has not been completely just turned upside down."

    She said she waited to tell her children about the nightmare until they woke up later that morning.

    "I woke Chase up. I said come on Chase, you need to come in Haley's room for a minute, and I went in there and woke Haley up, and sat down and told them. It broke my heart," said Andrea. "There is no way to describe the pain that a mother feels for her children, so going in there and having to tell them that their father had died and he would not be coming home, that was the hardest part of all of it."

    Court Case

    According to police, Officer Schmidt was shot and killed by Jerry Lard on April 12, 2011 during a traffic stop at the Cottonwood Manor Apartments. Lard will appear in court for trial in July in Greene County. The State of Arkansas is seeking the death penalty.

    Court documents filed in Poinsett County suggest Lard opened fire on Jonathan when the officer opened the car door. Sgt. Corey Overstreet was also injured during an ensuing exchange of gunfire, police said.

    Jonathan was pronounced dead at NEA Baptist Memorial in Jonesboro less than two hours after the shooting, documents indicated.

    "Every single time an officer puts on his uniform and walks out the door, he's putting his life on the line every day. You never know. You never know. Nothing is routine," said Andrea. "In law enforcement, you don't think about the dangers. You know it's there, but you don't think about it or dwell on it every day or you won't be able to live with it."

    Andrea said that April night wasn't the only time her husband was in the face of danger.

    "He wouldn't always tell me stories because he saw my reaction to other things, which then of course, I would be like, you need to tell me what happened. He didn't want to worry me. He didn't want me to be concerned. There were times, knives pulled on him and guns pulled on him and people that run from you or want to wrestle with you and fight with you and punch you, you know," said Andrea. "Jonathan was doing what he loved to do and what he believed in doing when this happened."

    Andrea said Jonathan gave up a high paying job to become a police officer more than four years ago. She said Jonathan was all about protecting his family and community.

    "He was like, ‘I always wanted to be a police officer.' He said (it was) because I can help and make the town better. I can do things I can't do now not being a police officer, and that's the kind of person he was. He gave so much of himself. He was very selfless. He would help anybody," said Andrea. "We prayed about it a lot, but I supported Jonathan. He's not going to make a decision that would hurt us in any way. He was thinking about his family and his community."

    Community Support

    After the shooting, Andrea said the community and some organizations she never heard of offered help to her family in time of need.

    "It overwhelmed me then and it overwhelms me now to know how many people were willing to take their time and make sure that my kids had food on the table and that our bills were paid. There was no stress on me. They wanted to make sure that we were taken care of," said Andrea. "A lot of people who have came to our help never met him, but he was a police officer. He was their brother, and they are going to do whatever they can to support us."

    Andrea referenced a special retreat for victims of police officers who have been killed in the line of duty.

    "COPS stands for Concerns of Police Survivors, and I remember Linda Craig who is the chapter president in Arkansas. I remember her coming to the house," said Andrea. "(They are people) who can, when they say, ‘I'm sorry, I understand what you're going through,' you know, absolutely that they understand."

    "You don't ever get real closure. It's not real. You learn to deal with what you've been given, and do it as gracefully as you can without anger and vengeance because that will eat you alive," said Andrea.

    Officer Schmidt to be Honored

    In May, Jonathan Schmidt's name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC. Members of the Trumann Ambulance Service and the community will be raising money in April to help pay for the trip, which will be taken by immediate family members of Jonathan and a few officers.

    "The family has to have a police escort from the department that the officer worked for. Andrea has chosen Patrolman Jarrod Cook to be her escort and Sgt. Overstreet, who was there that night with Jonathan," said Randi Parker with Trumann Ambulance Service.

    Parker said the ambulance service will hold a special raffle fundraiser for the Schmidt family May 5th at 1:00 that afternoon. People interested in the raffle can purchase a $2 ticket. The raffle's grand prize is worth up to $900. Parker said donations are also accepted.

    "The grand prize is donated by Greenway Equipment. They gave us a steel weed eater and a steel backpack blower. The Trumann Walmart has donated a push lawn mower," said Parker.

    To register, you can pick up tickets at Trumann City Hall, Trumann Police and Fire Departments, Trumann Ambulance Service, Arkansas Police Supply in Jonesboro and Trent's Gun and Pawn in Jonesboro.

    "It's like an empty feeling. You never expect it to be here. You never expect it to be on your own doorstep," said Parker, whose husband was also working with TPD the night of the shooting.

    "When I got my phone that night and I was in the car, I opened it up and there was a text message from Jonathan at 10:57 that said, ‘Goodnight. Love you. I hope you sleep well.' At 11:27, he made the traffic stop and everything changed," said Andrea.

    Andrea said she keeps Jonathan's old Bible in her home next to a photo album to help cherish her life with her husband.

    "God's plan is seen through circumstances. It was not God's plan for that to happen. That was evil in this world. That man made that decision on his own free will to do that to my husband," said Andrea. "I would rather spend every day of my life being sad than to have one day of anger or hate in my heart."

    http://www.wmctv.com/story/17285179/...y-for-1st-time
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Gag order and hearings set in case of Trumann officer death

    The man accused of murdering a Trumann Police Officer appeared in court Thursday for a pre-trial hearing.

    According to the Craighead County Circuit Clerk's Office, a judge set another pre-trial hearing for Jerry Lard for May 25.

    The judge also extended the gag order throughout the completion of the trial.

    Lard is charged with capital murder in the shooting and killing of Trumann Officer Jonathan Schmidt during a traffic stop in 2011. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.

    Lard has pleaded not guilty to capital murder, attempted capital murder and possession of methamphetamine, along with a firearms charge. He is scheduled to go on trial on July 16.

    According to the arrest affidavit, Lard is accused of shooting and killing Schmidt late Tuesday night, April 12, 2011.

    The affidavit states Schmidt initially made contact with the driver of a silver Hyundai Sonata at the entrance to Cottonwood Manor Apartments in Trumann. When Brian Elumbaugh, the driver, got out of his vehicle he was handcuffed for a misdemeanor warrant.

    Trumann Police Sergeant Corey Overstreet came to assist Schmidt during the traffic stop. Both in-car cameras were activated.

    After Schmidt asked a female passenger to exit the vehicle, he learned Lard was also wanted on a warrant.

    According to the affidavit, an investigator was told Lard said repeatedly before getting out of the car, "Today is the day."

    Court documents suggest when Schmidt opened the car door; Lard got out with a gun in his right hand and shot Schmidt at close range.

    Further into the court documents, surveillance video from Schmidt's car is said to have shown Lard pointing his weapon at Overstreet, and both exchanged gunfire. Documents suggest additional gunshots could be heard on the video.

    Schmidt was pronounced dead at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital in Jonesboro with several gunshot wounds.

    Police said Schmidt died less than two hours after the shooting.

    http://www.kait8.com/story/14453204/...-officer-death
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Ark judge to allow questioning of defendant's kids

    Attorneys for a man charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of a Trumann police officer will be able to interview the man's teenage children.

    According to the Jonesboro Sun (http://bit.ly/K5yYMq), Circuit Court Judge Brent Davis on Friday granted the request by lawyers for Jerry Lard, who could be facing the death penalty if he's found guilty of killing officer Jonathan Schmidt during an April 12, 2011, traffic stop.

    Court Appointed Special Advocates volunteer Joanie McNabb testified that questioning the children could be harmful to them. But public defender Teri Chambers said the defense team must determine if the children will provide evidence for their client.

    Davis said not allowing defense lawyers access to the children might provide grounds for a possible appeal if Lard is convicted.

    http://www.wxvt.com/Global/story.asp?S=18684489
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Judge won't toss death penalty in Trumann case

    A judge says prosecutors can still seek the death penalty against a Trumann man accused of killing a police officer even though the state Supreme Court recently ruled Arkansas' execution law was unconstitutional.

    Defense attorneys for Jerry Lard had asked Circuit Judge Brent Davis to remove the death penalty from consideration in Lard's upcoming trial. The Jonesboro Sun reports (http://is.gd/HQlNpb ) that the judge rejected that request.

    Lard is charged with capital murder in the April 12, 2011, shooting death of Trumann police officer Jonathan Schmidt.

    Davis ruled that last week's Supreme Court opinion didn't prohibit a judge from handing down a death sentence. Lard is set to go to trial July 16.

    Justices ruled that the Legislature improperly gave the Department of Correction authority to set execution procedures.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/J...se-3673214.php
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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