Appeals Court Orders 2 LR Police Officers to Stand Trial in Civil Lawsuit over Man’s Killing

By Marci Manley, Reporter

ST. LOUIS, MO – Two officers with the Little Rock Police Department who were involved in the shooting death of a man in his apartment nearly five years ago will stand trial in a civil lawsuit filed in the case.

That’s the decision released today by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

In making the ruling, the federal court affirmed a district court’s order denying qualified immunity for Donna Lesher and Tabitha McCrillis on the claims of unlawful entry and unreasonable use of deadly force.

Eugene Ellison, 67, was shot and killed inside his home at the Big Country Chateau apartment complex in December 2010 where the officers had been working off-duty as security.

Ellison was the father of one Little Rock Police officer who just left the force and another who was still employed by the department at the time of the shooting.

Officers Lesher and McCrillis said they were just checking on Ellison’s welfare when he began to attack them violently.

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