Stephen Rankin, a former Portsmouth, Va. police officer, was sentenced Wednesday (Oct. 12) for the 2015 shooting death of an unarmed Black teen after responding to a shoplifting call. Rankin will serve two and a half years in prison for a voluntary manslaughter charge.
According to a report from local outlet WAVY, Ranking, 36, shot and killed William Chapman II, 18, after encountering the teen outside a Walmart in April 2015. The outlet adds that a jury found Rankin guilty of the charge in August after first facing a charge of first-degree murder. Rankin’s defense team rolled out Rankin’s wife as a witness, who testified that her husband was a kind and loving father.
WVEC reports that the prosecution placed Rankin’s ex-wife on the stand, who painted a picture of a violent and absent father who would have done worse had he remained an officer in the city. Chapman’s criminal record and was not called into question although a juror in the case said she regrets her guilty verdict after talking to Rankin and learning of the teen’s past.
Rankin offered a statement in court to Champman’s mother asking for forgiveness, which was rebuffed by Sally Chapman and the family.
WAVY’s video report appears in the clip below.
Photo: Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail