Parole not recommended for man convicted of killing Pocahontas officer

Clemency not recommended for killer convicted in Pocahontas officer killing

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - The man accused of killing a police officer three decades ago learned the fate of his request for clemency Monday.

We first reported on 62-year-old Dwight Sullinger’s request in mid-April, and Monday, the State Parole Board announced they would not recommend clemency for Sullinger.

The board released their non-binding recommendation to Gov. Asa Hutchinson after meeting last week.

Sullinger was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Pocahontas officer Scotty Lee Bennett exactly 30 years ago.

Bennett was shot and killed after being called to a domestic disturbance, and Sullinger was sentenced to life in prison and six years for possession of a firearm as a result.

He applied for clemency months ago, and now, the parole board says his application is “without merit,” meaning Sullinger’s application lacks support for any pardon.

“I am very thankful for the Arkansas Parole Board’s decision in this matter,” Cindy Toney Robinett, Officer Bennett’s widow, said. “As well as the support for law enforcement in Northeast Arkansas, and the love that remains even today for Scotty.”

Due to the Parole Board’s recommendation, Sullinger will not be able to re-apply for clemency for another four years.

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