Court denies appeal of Arkansas inmate who killed guard

Court denies appeal of Arkansas inmate who killed guard

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by an inmate sentenced to death for killing a prison guard.

The court issued its opinion Thursday that a lower court did not commit error during the 2014 trial of Latavious Johnson when it didn't instruct the jury on the requirements for a lesser manslaughter charge.

Johnson was convicted of capital murder for the stabbing death of guard Barbara Ester at the East Arkansas Regional Unit when she and another guard tried to confiscate contraband sneakers. Johnson, who was serving a life sentence for killing his father, argued that he acted because of the psychological distress of being in prison.

The justices say Johnson did not kill Ester following provocation or threat, which is required for the manslaughter charge.

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