Defense: Christopher Cope "a boy in grown man's body" - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Defense: Christopher Cope "a boy in a grown man's body"

Christopher Brian Cope (Source: Shreveport Police Dept.) Christopher Brian Cope (Source: Shreveport Police Dept.)
Sgt. Timothy Prunty Sgt. Timothy Prunty

The capital murder trial is under way for a man accused of gunning down a Shreveport Police officer outside a South Shreveport convenience store.

25-year-old Christopher Brian Cope is charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Sgt. Timothy Prunty. Sgt. Prunty was shot while standing outside of the Circle K in the 3300 block of Bert Kouns on October 24, 2010.

It's been an emotional day for family and friends of Sgt. Timothy Prunty as jurors heard opening arguments from both the prosecution and defense.

Caddo Parish prosecutor Brady O'Callaghan told jury members that Cope fired a total of 14 shots in the direction of Timothy Prunty that night, and that the Circle K clerk was standing next to him when those shots were fired. O'Callaghan described how Prunty pushed the clerk out of the way and was fatally shot 5 times in the backs of his legs and in his feet.

The defense described Cope as "a boy in grown man's body." They told the jury they don't excuse his actions that night, but that circumstances in his life compelled him to act stupidly and criminally and suicidally. They went on to describe those circumstances, with Cope being someone they say was very upset with his life and his job, and someone who had just been rejected by a girl.

Jurors have also heard the radio communications among the responding officers from that night. One of the officers was heard saying, "My sergeant has been shot," and called out for a Code 10-18, which means 'everyone respond ASAP.

The jury was seated Wednesday, two years to the day Prunty was killed. If convicted, Cope faces the death penalty.

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SIDEBAR: Cope trial continuing coverage


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>>

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