The Pine Bluff Commercial reports that Jefferson Prosecutor Kyle Hunter has cleared prison guards who shot at and killed an inmate attempting to escape from the Varner Unit April 7.
Christopher Wilson, 41, serving a life sentence for two murders in Faulkner County (a woman and her eight-month-old son), was shot after he ran from a prison work detail through a sally port. This set off a round of gunfire that eventually brought him down with a shot to the back.
A guard in a watch tower fired one rifle shot that missed, then lowered the weapon to a guard on the ground who fired two more shots that missed. Wilson continued running to a barn where he tried unsuccessfully to mount a horse. There, he dropped a home-made knife a three-hole punch. He kept running and a shot from a guard brought him down.
Hunter said the shots were justified because the law allows use of deadly force to prevent the escape of someone convicted of a felony. The law does not provide — as it does in some other circumstances — that the person present a danger to others at the time of shooting.