Former Trooper Who Shot and Killed Innocent Man Released from Jail

BENTONVILLE, AR - Former state trooper Larry Norman, who shot an unarmed, mentally disabled man, has been released from jail after serving 54 days for a negligent homicide sentence.

Norman pleaded guilty in May to a misdemeanor negligent homicide charge.  On June 28, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail.  With his release yesterday from the Benton County Jail, Norman will serve 12 months probation.

Norman fatally wounded 21-year-old Joseph Erin Hamley of Springdale on March 7, 2006, during a hunt for a fugitive from Michigan.  Officers believed Hamley fit the suspect's description.

Hamley suffered from cerebral palsy and had a nervous habit of putting his hands in his pockets.  Hamley refused officers' commands to keep his hands out of his pockets, but was lying on his back when Norman fired his shotgun from 25 feet.  Officials say Hamley said "I'm sorry" and later "Why did you shoot me?"

Norman was released early because he performed work around the jail, such as mowing and washing cars, which earned him credit toward his sentence.

Norman must also perform 30 days of community service.

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