Murdered officer's father reacts to "possible" death row action

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
Donald Schmidt (Source: KAIT)
Donald Schmidt (Source: KAIT)

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - A local father of a murdered police officer is hopeful that with a soon-to-be new president, a potential action will play out.

Donald Schmidt, father to Jonathan Schmidt killed in the line of duty over 5 years ago in Trumann, read a document posted on the National Fraternal Order of Police's Facebook page on Tuesday.

In the document, it shows a predicted summary of possible actions through executive order or action that the Trump Administration may take in its first 100 days.

One action stated is to issue new directives to U.S attorneys to seek the death penalty in federal cases involving murdered officers.

Although this is only a prediction made by the FOP, Donald Schmidt hopes the Trump Administration adds this to its agenda.

"They need to know their back is protected," Schmidt said. "They need to know if they are senselessly murdered, for no reason at all, that the state and the federal governments have their backs."

Schmidt's son's case was seen in state court, not federal, but he said that does not matter. He believes anyone who takes the life of a  man or women in uniform, rather it is an FBI agent or a local police officer, should be on death row just like the man, Jerry Lard, that killed his son.

"Life in prison is not enough," he said. "Jerry Lard executed my son. He didn't just shoot him. He picked up my son's revolver and while my son was laying down dying, he shot him right in the face, as my son told him don't shoot me again, I have three children."

Schmidt said this is happening too much since Lard killed his son in 2011, saying seeking anything less than death row for cop killers, is luxurious.

Region 8 News reached out to Chris Givens, assistant U.S attorney in the Eastern District of Arkansas. He said the Trump Administration has not contacted them with any directives involving this matter.

Also, according to the documented posted by the National Fraternal Order of Police, the predictions are based on statements made from the presidential campaign and media reports.

"Their lives are sacred," Schmidt said. "It's destroying our families. They need to be protected."

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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