Man gets two life sentences plus 835 years in jail after bullet he fired killed policeman


An Arkansas man has been sentenced to two life terms plus 835 years in prison for the fatal shooting of an off-duty police officer in northeast Arkansas two years ago.

Demarcus Parker, 27, was convicted of first-degree murder, illegally shooting a weapon from a vehicle and 21 related charges in the April 2018 shooting death of Forrest City officer Oliver Johnson, according to court documents.

Prosecutors have said Parker was shooting at rival gang members outside Johnson’s apartment on South Avalon Street in West Memphis at 3.30pm on April 28 when the officer was struck by a stray bullet. 

At the time of the shooting, Johnson was playing video games with his family, including one of his daughters. Investigators have said the officer was likely not the target of the gunfire.

Portia Weatherspoon, Johnson’s relative who lives in the building, rushed into his unit and attempted to perform CPR on him.  

Less than two weeks after the officer’s shooting death, police in West Memphis arrested Parker and his alleged accomplice, 24-year-old George Henderson.  

Judge Randy Philhours followed the jury’s sentencing recommendation and ruled that Parker’s prison terms are to run consecutively.

‘Sadly, none of this will bring Officer Johnson back to his family, but maybe they will find some comfort that justice was served this week,’ Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington stated after the sentencing. 

Johnson, who had served with the Forrest City Police Department for three years, was survived by his fiancee and two daughters. 

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