Man receives two life sentences plus 835 years for killing of off-duty police officer

Man receives two life sentences plus 835 years for killing of off-duty police officer
An Arkansas man received two life sentences with an additional 835 years for the murder of an off-duty West Memphis police officer over two years ago. (Source: Gray News)

MARION, Ark. (WMC) - An Arkansas man received two life sentences with an additional 835 years for the murder of an off-duty West Memphis police officer over two years ago.

Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington announced tonight that a Crittenden County jury found Demarcus Donnell Parker, 27, guilty of murder in the first degree for the April 28, 2018 shooting death of Oliver Johnson, 25.

Johnson was a West Memphis resident and worked for the Forrest City Police Department at the time of his death. Parker was shooting from a vehicle at rival gang members when a stray bullet entered Johnson’s home and struck him, killing him.

Parker was found guilty of the following charges: murder in the first degree, unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle in the first degree, six counts of attempted murder in the first degree, and fifteen counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle in the second degree.

Judge Randy Philhours then followed the jury’s sentencing recommendation and sentenced Parker to file for the charge of murder in the first degree in the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Parker also received life for unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle in the first degree, plus thirty years each for the six counts of attempted murder in the first degree, plus twenty years each for the fifteen counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle in the second degree, plus a fifteen-year enhancement of committing a felony with a firearm on each of the previous twenty-three counts, plus a further enhancement of ten years for committing these felonies in the presence of a child for a grand total of two life sentences plus 835 years, all to run consecutively.

The state was represented by deputy prosecutors Michael Snell and Thomas Young. West Memphis Police Department Investigators Captain Troy Galtelli and Detective Matt Jarrett were lead investigators. The jury consisted of five women and seven men.

After the sentencing, Ellington stated, “Deputy prosecutors Tom Young and Mike Snell worked diligently for several weeks to evaluate hundreds of pieces of evidence to make their best case. West Memphis detectives spent many hours putting the case file together. The jury listened to both sides, and ultimately returned maximum sentences on all counts and recommended they be run consecutively. Sadly, none of this will bring Officer Johnson back to his family, but maybe they will find some comfort that justice was served this week.”

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