Officer Involved In Deadly Crash Given Six Month Sentence
(Memphis) The officer who was involved in a crash that killed two and seriously injured one person will spend six months behind bars.
He will also be on probation for six years.
The deal was just announced in court and recommended by the prosecutor for the charges of vehicular homicide and assault.
The judge accepted the deal as Alex Beard pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide and three counts of aggravated assault.
Beard will begin serving his sentence September 17.
Prosecutor Billy Bond said Beard had a clean record and at most was looking at six years in prison if convicted by a jury at trial.
Investigators say then-MPD officer Alex Beard was driving 94 miles per hour without his siren going while responding to a call when his car collided with another on Crump Avenue last year.
Family members of those killed are furious with the plea agreement.
”This is a slap in my face. This man has killed my whole entire family,” Mike Ross said. “This ain’t no kind of justice this is injustice.”
The prosecutor Billy Bond insists it was the best he could do.
“If I was in their situation I wouldn’t believe there was justice either, but under the law this is the best resolution we could reach,” Bond said.
Beard’s attorney said his client never meant to cause any harm.
“He has told me to tell you today that he is absolutely remorseful about what happened,” Leslie Ballin said.
Before today, Beard said he wasn’t to blame because the car, driven by Michael Ross, turned in front of him.
Delores Jean Epps and her daughter, Mackala, were killed.
However, Ross contended Beard is guilty and said because of Beard’s ties to law enforcement, he’s gotten special treatment from the beginning.
District Attorney Amy Weirich said that is not true.
“They are looked at like everyone else and we understand how important it is to the public that we speak.”
In the last three plea deals in vehicular manslaughter cases in Shelby County, sentences were suspended and the guilty parties received probation and no prison time.
The D.A.’s office said Beard will serve 100 percent of his six month sentence.
Beard, who is free on a $20,000 bond, also suffered injuries in the crash.
Police officers are supposed to follow traffic laws even in emergency situations and use their lights.