Former Arkansas officer cleared of liability in fatal shooting

Published 8 December 2017

A federal jury in Little Rock spent about four hours deliberating Thursday before clearing a former Alexander police officer of any liability in the 2012 shooting death of Carleton Wallace.

At the time, Nancy Cummings was a rookie officer and not yet certified. She stopped Wallace, 30, as he walked down the road in Alexander with a gun in his waistband. He threw the gun into the woods. Then, after he placed his hands on the hood of the patrol car at her direction, he turned, throwing her off-balance. Her gun — which was not holstered — went off.

She testified she doesn’t remember pulling the trigger. A firearms expert testified for the defense that the situation as described was consistent with Cummings experiencing an involuntary muscle contraction, causing her to pull the trigger.

In 2013, a Saline County jury acquitted Cummings of manslaughter in the same shooting.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.