Louisiana sheriff’s deputy indicted over in-custody death

Secret indictment obtained by KSLA shows the Caddo deputy is charged with malfeasance in office
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 3:27 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2021 at 7:27 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — A Caddo sheriff’s deputy is free on $7,500 bond after being indicted by a Caddo grand jury and booked.

The secret indictment handed up Wednesday, June 30 charges 36-year-old Ryan Chapman with one count of malfeasance in office.

It alleges that the law officer “... did intentionally refuse or fail any duty lawfully require of him” and that Chapman “did intentionally perform his duties in an unlawful manner ... .”

The Caddo district attorney’s office says the charge arises from an investigation into the death of a Keithville man March 18 while the 68-year-old was in custody.

Chapman and other deputies had gone to a property on Pecan Road to arrest 38-year-old Chad Deloach. They did not locate him but were met by William Walls, who they say came out the back door of another mobile home.

Deputies asked to search the mobile home for Deloach, Walls granted them permission and accompanied deputies during the search, officials previously said.

Walls later wound up handcuffed and placed alone in the rear of a Caddo sheriff’s cruiser, says a statement Thursday, July 1 from the parish prosecutor’s office. Walls later was found in distress and subsequently died at Willis-Knighton South.

Shortly after, the Sheriff’s Office in essence said that the deputy had done nothing wrong and the Caddo coroner said they found no sign of physical harm.

Now a grand jury has indict Chapman.

No charges were filed against the other deputies who also were there on Pecan Road that day.

It was not immediately known whether Chapman remains employed by the Caddo Sheriff’s Office and, if so, whether he has been suspended from duty pending resolution of this matter.

After KSLA News 12 made calls and sent emails, the Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement:

“Deputy Chapman’s actions were reviewed by the Sheriff’s Office at the time of the incident and no procedural or criminal violations were found; however, that is why we request the DA’s review on cases involving a loss in life.”

— Caddo Sheriff's Office

Malfeasance in office is a felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison with or without hard labor and a fine of up to $5,000.

Below is the text of the indictment:

The same grand jury entered a no true bill for another in-custody death at Caddo Correctional Center, the district attorney’s office reports.

The grand jury also inspected Caddo Correctional then filed the following report of its findings, which include recommended improvements to the prison’s medical unit:

Copyright 2021 KSLA. All rights reserved.