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Jury will not hear about shooting involving former officer Stephen Rankin in summer trial

Posted at 5:51 PM, Apr 08, 2016

Portsmouth, Va. - When former Portsmouth Police Officer Stephen Rankin goes to trial for the murder of William Chapman, the jury will not hear about a prior shooting that he was involved in back in 2011.

The judge issued a nine page opinion in the case against Stephen Rankin on Thursday.

Back in 2011, Rankin shot and killed Kirill Denyakin in Olde Towne after responding to a burglary call.

A grand jury cleared Rankin of any wrong doing.

Rankin shot and killed 18 year-old William Chapman last April in a Walmart parking lot.

He was indicted on first degree murder charges.

The prosecutor will not be allowed to bring up the first shooting Rankin's next hearing, expected to start this summer.

Legal Analyst David Cardon said, “Every single case involves a balancing act between the defense and the prosecution and it's always really hard lines for the judges, but to me but in this case, I think the judge is really making the right choices.”

The Commonwealth’s Attorney requested that uniform officers refrain from coming into court. However, the judge denied the request.

Cardon said, “I think he's ultimately trying to make this a very fair trial.”

The judge also ruled that he needs more time to decide whether text messages between Officer Rankin and the dispatch center can be used as part of evidence.

“I think that the grand jury might be overreaching with these charges just by the nature the fact that the officer doesn't know this individual and he's investigating shoplifting charge seems to it just seems a little bit aggressive,” said Cardon.

The trial is set to begin in July.