HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Impact statements are underway prior to sentencing in the Kayvon Ward trial on Friday, July 29.
A jury found Ward, 22, of Hot Springs, guilty of capital murder and additional charges Thursday night in the shooting death of Hot Springs police officer Brent Scrimshire in a March 2020 incident. Scrimshire had made a traffic stop of Ward for running a stop sign. A struggle ensued and Ward fled, shooting Scrimshire, who died.
An impact statement was made by Officer Anthony Larkin, who had arrived to assist Scrimshire during the traffic stop, and had, with Scrimshire, struggled with Ward and he tried to flee the scene. He also gave first aid to Scrimshire after he was shot.
“Everything changed for me after the shooting, I was alone,” Larkin said. “I was convinced if I did something differently Brent would still be alive.”
Larkin said he had started drinking heavily after the 2020 shooting, requiring a bottle of wine to sleep at night.
“I expected myself not to have this problem. I’m a broken man,” he said.
Scrimshire’s wife, Rachel Scrimshire, also spoke. The Scrimshire’s had two children, the court heard.
“I can never escape Kayvon Ward’s choice, even in my dreams,” she said. “My children will never make memories with their Dad.”
She also said she would never forget the night the Hot Springs Chief of Police said to her: “’I’m sorry Mrs. Scrimshire, but your husband was killed in a traffic stop.’”
“We were his world and he was ours,” she said. “I will never forget his mother’s haunting screams when she was told her only son was gone.”
Betty Giles, who earlier had told the jury she was Ward’s grandmother due to his mother being married to her son, also made a statement to the court.
“I want to say how sorry I am this is happening to you,” she said.
This was followed by Kevin Ward, Ward’s father.
“I love him. He’s a good kid. I never in my life thought I would see him in this situation,” he said. “I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. I wish I could change what happened. I wish things could be different.”
“Please have mercy on my son,” Ward said.