APRIL 14, 2006 - Posted at 7:59 a.m. CST
BENTONVILLE, AR - A Benton County jury has indicted a state trooper for the shooting death of an unarmed mentally disabled Springdale man. Trooper Larry Norman was indicted yesterday on a negligent homicide charge, a misdemeanor. The jury found that Norman did not spend enough time assessing the situation before he shot 21-year-old Joseph Erin Hamley. Norman said he thought Hamley was a Michigan prison escapee. The trooper surrendered yesterday at the Benton County Jail and has been with suspended with pay from the Arkansas State Police pending an internal review.
Norman's lawyer John Everett said the trooper and the rest of the community grieves for the family of Erin Hamley and genuinely regrets the unfortunate and tragic occurence. Everett said if Norman had it within his power to change the outcome of the confrontation, he would surely do so.