CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - The man who allegedly killed a Conway police officer by running into him at a traffic stop last week, could spend up to 40 years in prison if convicted. That's according to Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney, Cody Hiland.
A dreary day set in over Conway as the community did their best to cope with the loss of Officer Will McGary.
"We were there from the time he went to the hospital until the time he passed away," said Conway Police Spokesperson, Latresha Woodruff.
Police believe Barry Strickland ran into the Officer Thursday night while he was directing traffic at an accident on Dave Ward Parkway. Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney, Cody Hiland said the county will move forward with charges.
"The defendant was charged with battery in the first degree on a law enforcement officer while in the line of duty. That is a class Y felony, which means you have 10 to 40 years of life at stake," said Hiland.
Hiland said first-degree battery turns out to be a tougher charge than negligent homicide in the state of Arkansas. The latter has a sentence of five to 20 years.
Woodruff said Conway Police set up a memorial book inside the lobby of the department for people who would like to leave a message for the McGary family.
"McGary had a loving family in Searcy, a loving community in Searcy, but he also had that here in Conway," said Woodruff.
Hiland said by law, he approaches this case like any other, but vows to get justice for the McGary family.
"[When] they lace up their boots to go to work, there's an inherent risk. And, our community is certainly thankful for the risk that their willing to take on our behalf," said Hiland.