HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – A long-anticipated trial is underway in Hot Springs.

Opening statements and testimony began Monday, July 25, in a trial after the deadly shooting of a Hot Springs Police officer in 2020.  

Kayvon Ward, 22, of Hot Springs, is charged with capital murder, aggravated assault, possession of a defaced firearm and resisting arrest. The state’s opening to the jury called the charges against Ward a clear-cut case.

Ofc. 1st Class Brent Scrimshire was a six-year veteran of the force at the time of his death. He was shot March 10, 2020 after stopping an SUV driven by Ward for running a stop sign.

Defense opened by stating Ward had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, which meant he was incapable of a premeditated act and he should not be charged with capital murder.

The prosecution had 11 witnesses as of 2 p.m., most of whom were Hot Springs Police officers. The first prosecution witness was Hot Springs Police Sergeant Jerry Freeman. Body and dash camera footage from Scrimshire’s partner was admitted as evidence, one of 20 exhibits submitted. Scrimshire’s body camera was not turned on the night he was shot, the jury heard.

Officer Ryan Davis is heard on one recording speaking with Scrimshire, telling him to “hold on” and “It’s going to be all right, stay with me Scrim.”

“I held his hand as we went to the emergency room,” Davis testified.

Other evidence included body camera footage of officers doing chest compressions to Scrimshire while shouting “Breathe!”

Department Sergeant Mike Brown testified Ward refused to identify himself as officers arrived on-scene.

“His only response was ‘[redacted] you’ and ‘roll me over,’” Brown said.

A second person, Coraima Hernandez, 20, of Hot Springs has been charged in connection with the incident.