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Ex-officer released, still appealing manslaughter conviction

November 19, 2018

DILLWYN, Va. (AP) — A former Virginia police officer has been released from prison after serving more than two years for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager.

Virginia Department of Corrections spokeswoman Lisa Kinney said Stephen Rankin was released Monday from the Dillwyn Correctional Center.

But Rankin’s journey through the legal system isn’t over. Virginia’s Supreme Court agreed in late October to hear Rankin’s appeal of his voluntary manslaughter conviction.

Rankin shot and killed 18-year-old William Chapman II outside a Walmart in Portsmouth in 2015. The teen was suspected of shoplifting. Prosecutors said Rankin, who is white, killed Chapman “willfully, deliberately and with premeditation.”

An appeals court affirmed Rankin’s conviction in April. Rankin says it wasn’t fair that the jury was told of a previous on-duty fatal shooting. That shooting didn’t result in charges.

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