Teen pleads not guilty in Arkansas officer’s murder


Little Rock Police Department

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NEWPORT, Ark. — The teen charged in the murder of a Newport police officer pleaded not guilty by reason of mental defect during a court hearing on Thursday.

Derrick Heard was charged with capital murder, attempted capital murder, breaking or entering, theft of property and possession of a handgun following the June 12 incident that left Lt. Patrick Weatherford dead.

In court Thursday the judge granted the defense attorney’s request to have his client undergo a mental evaluation, KATV reported.  Since this is a high-profile case, Heard’s attorney is hoping to have the results back within 60 days.  A bail hearing will be scheduled once the test report comes back, reported the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

According to investigators, Lt. Weatherford was shot in the stomach after chasing a suspect wanted for breaking into a car in the Newport High School parking lot on June 12. The suspect allegedly fired another shot at a second officer.

Court documents stated Heard admitted to shooting Lt. Weatherford and to the break-in.

A second person, Tyler Calamese, was also charged with breaking or entering, theft of property and furnishing a deadly weapon to a minor for his alleged role in the shooting.

According to police, the 18-year-old broke into a car, stole a handgun and then gave it to Heard a day before the fatal shooting.

Calamese was released on bond in July and is going to be staying with family in Arkadelphia in order to enroll in high school and finish his senior year. He scheduled to be back in court in September.


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