Defense asks to remove uniformed deputies - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Cope defense wants uniformed deputies removed from courtroom

Posted: Updated: April 16, 2012 11:19 PM CDT
Christopher Cop, 26 (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office) Christopher Cop, 26 (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)
KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY: Sgt. Timothy Prunty was a 19 year veteran of the Shreveport Police Department. KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY: Sgt. Timothy Prunty was a 19 year veteran of the Shreveport Police Department.

The man that police say shot and killed a Shreveport police officer appeared in a Caddo parish courtroom Monday.

Christopher Cope is accused of gunning down Sgt. Timothy Prunty in October of 2010.

The 19-year veteran of the force was standing outside a convenience store in South Shreveport when he was shot several times. Cope was arrested and charged with 1st degree murder.

Cope's trial is slated to begin on July 23rd. On Monday Cope's defense attorneys filed a motion to keep uniformed deputies, who act as bailiffs, out of the courtroom during the trial, arguing that they might improperly influence the jury.

Cope's attorneys pointed to the fact that Prunty was a 19 year veteran of the police department, and a well respected police officer.  

The defense attorneys suggested hiring a private security company, or having the deputies wear plain clothes during the trial.

Prosecutor, Dale Cox argued that their uniforms would not influence the jury, and that removing the deputies or ordering them to wear plain clothes would be a serious security risk. "That might place the safety of the jurors in question," Cox told Judge Michael Pitman.

Judge Pitman denied the motion, but he will issue an order for deputies who were friends of Prunty or worked with him, to be excluded from providing security for the jury.

More motions are expected to be argued on May 17th. 
 
Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

SIDEBAR: Cope trial continuing coverage

Updated:

Continuing coverage in the criminal trial of Christopher Cope, charged with 1st degree murder in the shooting death of Shreveport Police Sgt. Timothy Prunty, a 19-year-veteran of the force. More>>

Powered by WorldNow