July 10, 2003 - Posted at: 11:59 p.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The convicted killer of an Arkansas State Trooper may have his sentence reduced for a second time.
Clay Anthony Ford shot and killed Sergeant Glen Bailey in Marion in 1980. He was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death in 1981 for shooting Sergeant Glen Bailey on an exit ramp in Marion, Arkansas on September 5, 1980.
Ford got a new trial in 1997 and a new sentence of life in prison.
Judge George Howard Junior has a problem with what Second Judicial Circuit Prosecuting Attorney Brent Davis said during the closing arguments during the sentencing. Davis told jurors that Ford would serve only about a year longer in prison if he was sentenced to 40 years rather than life.
"I disagree that it significantly affected the jury or that if it was even to any extent actually untrue, but in any event, the federal judge's decision is what's important in terms of the ultimate effect," Davis said about the ruling.
A state Department of Corrections administrator testified in federal court that if Ford had received a 40 year sentence, and continued to get credit for time served and for good behavior, he could've been released November 2, 2004.
If Judge Howard's decision stands either the state will have to reduce Ford's sentence to 40 years or there will be a re-sentencing hearing where Davis says he'll try to get another jury to give Clay Anthony Ford a life sentence again.