NEWPORT, Ark. (KTHV) -- Two people have been charged in connection to the murder of Newport Police Department Lieutenant Patrick Weatherford.
A 16-year-old, Derrick Heard, is being charged as an adult with capital murder, attempted capital murder, breaking or entering, theft of property, and possession of a handgun by a minor. The teen will appear in Jackson County Circuit Court on August 3.
Tyler Calamese, an 18-year-old, is being charged with breaking or entering, theft of property, and furnishing a deadly weapon to a minor. Calamese has been in custody since the evening of Lt. Weatherford's death. He will reappear in Jackson County Circuit Court on August 3.
“This investigation has been an intensive effort and we are confident the evidence in the case will support the charges filed today,” said Henry Boyce, Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney.
Calamese had originally admitted to killing Weatherford and had been charged with capital murder. His mother, Shanika Reynolds, said she was in communication with him at the time of the shooting. According to his mother, he asked where she was, she said at the house, then Calamese asked his mom for the food stamp card.
Reynolds said her family was receiving death threats if they didn't "keep quiet." She said that's the only reason she could think of as to why he would confess, to protect his family.
“You're getting death threats, I would too, he's scared," Reynolds said. "He doesn't know what to think. He's trying to protect us. I know my son and that's what he's trying to do.”
According to the bench warrant, Weatherford and Sergeant Shane Rogers were responding to a break-in call when they encountered Heard, who matched the suspect description. Heard then attempted to escape, first by bicycle then by foot.
Weatherford noticed that Heard had a gun and informed other Newport police over the radio of that fact.
A short time later, Heard and Weatherford then exchanged shots. During the shooting, Weatherford was hit and injured. Heard then turned his fire towards Rogers. Weatherford was transported to a local hospital where he died from his wounds.
As the investigation continued, Heard admitted to the shooting death of Weatherford and shooting towards Rogers. He also admitted that he broke into a vehicle and was fleeing from the scene when police began pursuing him.