Attorney wants Stephen Rankin's conviction tossed

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - An attorney for a former Portsmouth police officer convicted of voluntary manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed teenager is asking a judge to set aside the jury's verdict.

A jury found former officer Stephen Rankin guilty in connection with the shooting last year and recommended a 2 ½-year prison sentence. Rankin's attorney James Broccoletti says Rankin followed the police department's use-of-force policy.

Rankin fatally shot 18-year-old William Chapman II after responding to a shoplifting call. Witnesses said a struggle ensued, and attorneys argued over whether Rankin should have used deadly force.

Rankin is white. Chapman was black and unarmed.

The Virginian-Pilot reports  Rankin's lawyers plan to appeal, and his attorney also asked he remain out on bond while the case is appealed. Sentencing is currently set for Oct. 12.
 

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