- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for a man charged in the fatal shooting of an Arkansas sheriff’s deputy.

Billy Jones, 35, is charged with one count of capital murder in the death of 66-year-old Sebastian County Sheriff’s Cpl. Bill Cooper. Jones is accused of killing Cooper on Aug. 10 after Cooper and others responded to a domestic disturbance call near Hackett.

Jones also faces 10 counts of attempted capital murder, possession of firearms by certain persons, and killing or injuring animals used by law enforcement. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Jones fired from inside his home using an assault-style rifle and refused to negotiate a surrender until an armored vehicle backed up to his front door, according to a prepared statement from Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck. Investigators later searched Jones‘ home and found 11 guns.

In a letter filed Monday, Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Shue informed the judge in the case of the decision to seek the death penalty. A trial date has not yet been set.

Shue wrote that enough evidence qualifies Jones for the death penalty, including the seriousness of the offense, Jones‘ culpability, his criminal record, aggravating and mitigating circumstances, and potential victim-impact evidence.

Cooper’s life was honored at the sheriff’s office on Thursday. U.S. Sen. John Boozman visited the department to give his personal condolences, calling Cooper a hero.

Cooper died six hours after the shooting in a Fort Smith hospital. He was a 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s office.

Jones‘ attorneys declined to comment about the case to The Associated Press.


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