Prosecution rests case on Day 3 of former Portsmouth officer Stephen Rankin’s murder trial

Posted at 7:22 AM, Jul 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-29 18:21:18-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Friday was the third day of the murder trial of former Portsmouth Police officer Stephen Rankin.

Rankin is on trial for shooting and killing 18-year-old William Chapman in the parking lot of the Portsmouth Walmart in April of 2015. After an investigation, Rankin was indicted on first degree murder charges.

Friday morning the judge, the jury, Rankin and the lawyers took a trip to Walmart.  The purpose was to give the jury a better perspective of where the shooting took place.

The judge ordered the media not to publish video or pictures of the trip to Walmart.

When the group returned to court, the jury was shown the taser video taken the day Chapman was shot and killed. The video was taken from the taser that Rankin was wearing and shows what happened before the shooting.

A Walmart security guard gave his testimony Friday and was cross-examined by both the Commonwealth and Rankin's defense. The security guard described the shooting and the verbal confrontation that occurred between Rankin and Chapman.

After the cross-examination, the Commonwealth rested their case.

The defense then filed a motion to strike all of the charges against Rankin, saying the Commonwealth doesn't have enough evidence and that their statements are conflicting.

The judge denied the efforts to strike the current charges.

Friday the judge ruled that Chapman's juvenile record which includes assault, threatening to bomb or burn a building and having some type of weapon on school property will not shown to the jury.

The judge also ruled that Rankin's comments he wrote to someone in his dispatch center one hour before the shooting about hating his job and the city and all the people will also not be heard by the jury.

The trial began Wednesday with the jury selection process and continued Thursday with opening statements from the prosecution and defense, as well as testimonies from police officers, firefighters, Virginia State Police investigators, and a person shopping at the Walmart that day.


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