Man accused in Lafayette Co. deputy death appears in court

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - Prosecutors say an Arkansas deputy was performing a good deed when he died in a traffic wreck this week while driving a man to a homeless shelter.

Prosecuting Attorney Carlton Jones says Lafayette County Chief Deputy Pete Richardson was "just trying to do the right thing" when he offered to give a hitchhiker a ride to a shelter. But authorities allege that the hitchhiker, Michael Ackart of Tulsa, Okla., grabbed the steering wheel while Richardson was driving, causing a wreck that killed Richardson.

Ackart has been jailed on suspicion of second-degree murder.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that Ackart made his first appearance Tuesday in court, where he told a judge he did not have an attorney. He's next due in court April 4.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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