Former Portsmouth officer charged for teen’s murder appears in court for hearing

Posted at 10:51 AM, Nov 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-23 17:21:22-05

Portsmouth, Va. - The former Portsmouth officer accused of killing a teen appeared in court hearing Monday that was requested by his defense.

Stephen Rankin's defense wanted to know why it's taking the prosecution so long to hand over the evidence that they have against the former officer.

"It's unusual to have to wait over two months for discovery in the case when the prosecutors investigating him for and for how many months prior to the indictment occurred," says Rankin's attorney James Broccoletti.

Stephen D. Rankin

Stephen D. Rankin

Rankin was charged with 1st Degree Murder after he shot and killed 18-year-old William Chapman in the Portsmouth Walmart parking lot on April 22, 2015.

He was fired from the Portsmouth Police Department on September 3rd. The following day, he was granted a $75,000 bond and released from jail.

His defense says the prosecution had yet to hand over evidence against him.

During Monday's hearing, Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Morales handed over 190 pages of documents and seven discs of evidence.

Morales refused to answer any questions leaving court but her office responded through email stating they did not think the defense's order was specific enough.  She told the courtroom there is more evidence to come.

"She was clear that there is more to come but the question remains then why was that not given today," says Broccoletti.

Rankin appeared in court on Monday alongside his attorneys.  About 20 officers also appeared in court, sitting behind him in support.

Rankin's trial is set for February 22nd.


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