Arguments heard in Jerry Lard appeal case

Jerry Lard (Source: Arkansas Department of Correction)
Jerry Lard (Source: Arkansas Department of Correction)
Officer Jonathan Schmidt
Officer Jonathan Schmidt

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT/AP) - A lawyer for man convicted of killing a police officer and sentenced to death wants a new trial for her client.

Oral arguments in the appeal case of Jerry Lard were heard by the Arkansas Supreme Court in Little Rock Thursday.

Lard was convicted in the murder of Trumann Police Officer Jonathan Schmidt. In August 2012, a Greene County jury sentenced him to death by lethal injection.

On April 12, 2011 Schmidt pulled over a car in Trumann with four occupants including Lard. Lard got out of the backseat and shot Schmidt at close range, killing the officer.

Attorney Janice Vaughn told the Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday that the judge overseeing Lard's trial let his sympathy for Schmidt's family get in the way of his duty on the bench.

Vaughn said the judge failed to sequester some of Schmidt's family who testified at sentencing.

The state wants the high court to uphold Lard's conviction and sentence.

Region 8 News will continue to track these court proceedings.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.