Prosecutor discusses murder case

Prosecutor discusses murder case
(Source: KAIT)

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - The prosecutor handling the capital murder case in the death of a police officer last month said Monday that he and his office will provide all of its resources to handling the investigation.

In a statement, Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce discussed his office's work in the aftermath of the death of Newport Police Lt. Patrick Weatherford.

Weatherford was killed June 12 after responding to a vehicle break-in. According to Arkansas State Police, the suspect ran and Weatherford chased the suspect on foot around Newport Avenue and Bowen Street, near Remmel Park.

ASP has said the suspect then turned and shot Weatherford.

Tyler Calamese was arrested on suspicion of capital murder in Weatherford's death. He turned himself into police on the night Weatherford was shot and was held at the time at the Jackson County Detention Center.

Calamese has since been transferred to the Craighead County Detention Center, officials said.

However, Calamese's family and his attorney have maintained his innocence.

In the statement, Boyce said law enforcement agencies who are investigating the case have received help and support from the public.

"In the days following the incident, the Arkansas State Police initiated an intensive multi-disciplined approach to gathering evidence and involved experts in the field of forensics including the Arkansas Crime Lab as well as the FBI," Boyce said. "One hundred percent of the manpower available in Company F of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Arkansas State Police were personally assigned to the case. At least 30 witnesses have been interviewed by investigators already. In the past four weeks, several agents have remained on the ground in Newport every day questioning witnesses and following leads to make this case. These efforts continue today."

Boyce also said investigators are working to build a strong case for prosecutors to take to court.

"I would like to reassure the people of this community that I have never seen more effort put into an investigation and that due diligence has been exercised on behalf of all investigative agencies in order to work toward a sound and prudent charging decision based upon evidence, and not conjecture or subjective opinion," Boyce said. "As soon as I feel we have exhausted the extensive leads this case has brought investigators, we will make our charging decision known to the public."

Calamese is expected to be back in court on August 3.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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