by David Koon
Josh Hastings, the former Little Rock Police Department officer who was charged with manslaughter in January in the August 2012 shooting death of a 15-year-old boy during a burglary call at a West Little Rock apartment complex, plead not guilty to the charge today.
Hastings shot Bobby Moore as Moore and two other teens attempted to flee in a Honda Civic from the parking lot of the Shadow Lake Apartments complex at 13111 W. Markham, where Hastings had been dispatched to investigate a car burglary.
Though Hastings told investigators that he fired on the car because it was speeding toward him and he feared for his life, further investigation produced discrepancies between Hastings' account and the evidence. Hastings was arrested and charged in September 2012. From the affidavit for Hastings' arrest:
While it appears that the vehicle was driving toward Hastings at some point, all of the physical evidence is consistent with statements made by the occupants of the car, indicating that the car was stopped, or in reverse at the time Hastings fired, and not traveling toward him at a high rate of speed, as Hastings indicated in his statement.
Manslaughter is a class C felony. It can carry a sentence up to 10 years. Hastings' trial on the charge is set for June 18-20, with a pretrial hearing on May 20.