Va. officer gets 2.5 years in shooting of unarmed teen
A Virginia judge sentenced a white, former police officer to 2½ years in prison Wednesday for fatally shooting an unarmed black teen suspected of shoplifting.
Media outlets report that Circuit Judge Johnny Morrison sentenced Stephen Rankin to the maximum recommendation from the jury that convicted the former Portsmouth officer of voluntary manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old William Chapman II. Morrison couldn’t increase the recommended sentence, but could have reduced it. He denied defense attorneys’ request that Rankin remain free on bond during his appeal.
After the sentence was handed down, Rankin said he was deeply sorry and never meant to hurt anyone. The teen’s mother, Sallie Chapman, said Rankin’s apology rang hollow. “You’re not sorry for me. You’re sorry for you,” she said outside the courtroom. “That man deserves to be exactly where he’s at.”