Cope Found Guilty of Prunty’s Murder
It took two weeks to seat a jury and another week for the trial which worked right through the weekend, but it only took a jury a little more than an hour to find 26-year-old Christopher Cope guilty of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Shreveport Police Sergeant Tim Prunty two years ago.The ten women and two men got the case just after 6:30 and returned a verdict about 7:45.
Prunty was gunned down while talking with a clerk outside the Circle-K store at Bert Kouns and Dean Road about 3:00 in the morning. Prosecutors say Cope drove onto the lot in a red older model Camaro with loud pipes, stepped out and fired a volley of shots toward the officer with a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, hitting him at least four times. Then, he got back in his car and drove off.
Other officers spotted that car on Raspberry Lane a short time later, stopped it and arrested Cope.
Jurors return to Judge Mike Pitman's Caddo district courtroom at 9:30 tomorrow morning to begin the punishment phase of the trial. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Defense lawyers will be trying to get a life sentence.