- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A former Springfield police officer will serve no jail time for accidentally shooting an unarmed panhandler under a plea deal that prohibits him from ever working in law enforcement again.

Jason Shuck, 35, was sentenced Wednesday to a previously approved sentence of two years of unsupervised probation for a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault. He will have no criminal record if he successfully completes the probation but he is banned from ever having a job that requires him to carry a firearm and had to surrender his peace officer license, The Springfield News-Leader reported (https://sgfnow.co/10lr4hL ).

Shuck told investigators he meant to use his Taser on Eric David Butts but accidentally grabbed his pistol and shot the man in the back as he was running away after panhandling at a Walmart in May. Butts, who was wanted on a warrant for failure to appear on a parole violation, suffered severe internal injuries but is expected to recover.

Greene County prosecuting attorney Dan Patterson said the shooting cost Shuck his law enforcement career.

“I believe this is a just resolution,” Patterson said.

Butts’ attorney, Joshua Roberts, said the sentence was imposed “with our blessing.”

“Eric didn’t want him to be a police officer anymore,” Roberts said. “He didn’t want to run into him on the street again.”

Roberts also said the Springfield City Council has approved a settlement with Butts. He would not disclose the figure but said it was fair.


Information from: Springfield News-Leader, https://www.news-leader.com

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