(AP) An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a former Virginia police officer who was sentenced to 2½ years in prison for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager suspected of shoplifting.
The Court of Appeals of Virginia – in an April 24 unpublished opinion – unanimously affirmed the voluntary manslaughter conviction of Stephen Rankin in the 2015 shooting of William Chapman II.
Prosecutors alleged that Rankin — a white police officer in Portsmouth — killed the 18-year-old Chapman “willfully, deliberately and with premeditation” outside a Walmart.
Most witnesses said Chapman had his hands up, although some said he was combative.
Rankin was fired from his job after being indicted. After he was sentenced in 2016, Rankin said he was deeply sorry and never meant to hurt anyone.