Christopher Brian Cope has taken his appeal to the 2nd Circuit Court of  Appeals today. Cope was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Shreveport Police Sgt. Timothy Prunty.

Cope was accused of gunning down Prunty outside the Circle K on Bert Kouns and Dean Road in October 2010. Prunty was a 19-year-veteran of the Police Department when he was shot and killed.

Prosecutor Dale Cox said Cope intended to kill Prunty. Cox told the jury at the time of the trial that Cope had a fully loaded gun and that he shot every bullet. Cox also told jurors that Cope meant to kill more than one person, pointing his firearm at the Circle K convenience store clerk who was standing next to the officer. Prunty told her to run.

Cope’s defense attorney Brian Whitaker raised questions about the medical care Prunty received on the night he was shot. Prunty bled to death, according to a coroner's autopsy.

For these reasons, Whitaker argued that the crime does not rise to the level of first-degree murder and that it would not meet the level of capital punishment. That is expected to be a key part of the appeal hearing before the 2nd Circuit judges today.

Christopher Cope Avoids the Death Penalty