State Police Agree to Pay $1 Million to Family of Man Wrongly Shot by Trooper

FEBRUARY 27, 2007 - Posted at 7:42 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - The family of an unarmed man killed last year by a state trooper who mistook him for a fugitive would get a million dollars from the state under a proposal tentatively agreed upon by Arkansas State Police.

Yesterday, Governor Beebe asked a legislative panel to draft legislation appropriating money from the state's surplus to pay for a settlement agreement between police and the estate of Joseph Erin Hamley. Hamley, who had cerebral palsy, was shot dead March 7 while officers searched for a Michigan prison escapee who was reported to be in the area.

The escapee, 18-year-old Adam Lee Leadford, had eluded police for two days before being captured after a chase later on the day Hamley was killed.

Trooper Larry Norman of West Fork was charged with negligent homicide in Hamley's death, and a trial is scheduled for March 26. Norman has been on medical retirement and has pleaded not guilty in Benton County Circuit Court.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)