HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – On July 26, testimony continued for the second day in the 2020 shooting death of a Hot Springs police officer.
Kayvon Ward, 22, of Hot Springs, is charged with capital murder, aggravated assault, possession of a defaced firearm and resisting arrest.
Officer 1st Class Brent Scrimshire was a six-year veteran of the Hot Springs force at the time of his death. He was shot March 10, 2020 after stopping an SUV driven by Ward for running a stop sign.
Yesterday’s testimony was made up of Scrimshire’s fellow officers regarding the night of the shooting, where they were and what they did in providing aid to Scrimshire and arresting Ward.
This morning, the trial opened with the testimony of Dr. Michael Hite, an emergency room doctor with CHI St. Vincent hospital in Hot Springs.
Hite told the jury he had been there when Ward was brought into the hospital after having been shot “several times.” Hite did not state how many times Ward had been shot but did testify Ward had three injuries to his front and four to the back of his body.
Evidence so far this morning has been photos of Ward in the Emergency Room.
Late morning update:
An emergency room nurse, Matt McClain, who was at the hospital the night of the shooting, testified, telling the jury Ward “was anxious and diaphoretic [perspiring]; he was angry. He was sweating profusely as I remember.”
McClain said he had interacted with Ward for about 10 minutes. When asked if Ward seemed confused he replied: “He did not seem confused about where he was at.”
In opening statements, Ward’s attorney said his client suffered from schizophrenia and due to that disease was not capable of a pre-meditated act.
Hot Springs Detective Christian Baker testified that officer Larkin, who gave testimony yesterday about assisting Scrimshire after he was shot, had to be shaken “to get him to breathe again because he was hyperventilating.”
Hot Springs Detective Mark Fallis testified that he tried to transport Scrimshire to the hospital but was told not to do so.
Today’s hearing included extensive information about where bullets landed.
Officers combing the scene after the shooting found a .380 caliber pistol with its serial numbers destroyed which had been used by Ward.
Arkansas State Police Forensic Pathologist Dr. Stephen Erickson performed the autopsy on Scrimshire and told the jury that while the officer had been wearing a bullet-proof vest “the bullet probably missed the vest” and then went through the officer’s chest and out his back.
The jury was shown Scrimshire’s vest from the night of the shooting. Blood was visible on its back surface.
For Wednesday, defense witnesses are expected. Ward’s lawyer said in court he planned to focus on mental health issues related to Ward’s schizophrenia diagnosis, which had taken place since the shooting.
This story will update throughout the day.