Posted: Jul 28, 2012 1:55 PM by AP
PARAGOULD, Ark. (AP) - A judge has sentenced an Arkansas man to death for killing a police officer who was pleading for his life.
Prosecutor Scott Ellington says a Greene County judge on Saturday read the sentence for 38-year-old Jerry Lard. The jury had recommended the death sentence. Lard was convicted of capital murder Thursday for killing Trumann police officer Jonathan Schmidt during an April 2011 traffic stop.
Lard's attorneys didn't dispute that Lard shot Schmidt, but they argued that he has a mental illness or defect. Lard becomes the 38th death row inmate in Arkansas. The state hasn't been carrying out executions because the Arkansas Supreme Court struck down its lethal injection law earlier this year.