Victim's relative lunges at Christopher Cope during sentencing
There were tense moments in Caddo District Court this afternoon during the official sentencing of Christopher Cope.
Shortly before 2:00p.m. the court was force to clear out after the nephew of slain Shreveport Police Sgt. Tim Prunty jumped over a waist-high barrier in an attempt to hit Cope.
KTBS 3 News was in that courtroom, as deputies quickly pinned down Matthew Prunty, Jr. and moved Cope out of the courtroom.
After the altercation happened the nephew yelled, "I missed him, Uncle Tim! I missed him!"
No word yet on whether Matt Prunty, Jr. will face charges and/or what those may be. Prosecutor Brady O'Callaghan declined to comment.
Before, the incident, Judge Mike Pitman told Cope, "One day you will stand before God and you should hope and pray that He has mercy on your soul."
Tim Prunty's twin brother, Matthew Prunty, Sr., gave his victim impact statement just before the incident, also.
Matt Prunty, Sr. told the courtroom that "Cope killed a good man for no reason. He won't be the toughest one [in prison] and the suffering he'll receive more days that not, he'll pray for death."
The official sentencing of life in prison without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence was completed before this incident happened.
Cope's defense attorney, Bruce Whitaker told KTBS 3 News that he believes the sentence was just, saying "we do thank the jury for their courage in standing together, the 12 of them, and respecting each other's individual verdicts at the end."
Cope's attorney has two years to appeal the conviction.
Cope was convicted of first degree murder on October 30, 2012 in the October 2010 shooting death of Sgt. Tim Prunty.
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