Convicted cop killer sentenced to life in prison

Posted at 8:25 PM, Jun 15, 2016

A Bell County convicted killer has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The jury was not able to decide a verdict on the capital murder case of David Risner, so a judge has sentenced him to life in prison without a chance for parole.

Earlier this month, that jury convicted David Risner for capital murder in the shooting death of Little River Academy Police Chief Lee Dixon.

Wednesday, the anticipation and seats begin to fill the courtroom as both prosecuting and defense attorney's called their last witnesses to the stand.

This part of the trial has been going on for eight days and the entire trial has lasted for about two months.

Defense and prosecuting attorney's presented their closing arguments Wednesday that were extremely dramatic and emotional.

Risner's porch, where Chief Dixon was murdered, had been reconstructed inside the courtroom.  Standing on that porch, the state presented its case for the death penalty for Risner.

Prosecutors argued that when Risner is put in stressful situations, he often responds with violence, which is why they believe he will continue to be a threat to society. Therefore prosecutors believe he should receive the death penalty and not life without parole.

They reiterated the violent patterns shown as evidence throughout this case, which included shooting in the direction of an officer, threatening to kill a peace officer, and having multiple dangerous weapons in the trunk of his vehicle.

Lastly, the reason for this trial, was for the shooting of Chief Lee Dixon - in the face.

Contrary to that, defense attorneys asked the judge to expand the idea of insanity while saying Risner suffers from mental illness therefore he should not be executed. The judge denied that motion.

The defense continued to paint a very different picture of Risner, trying to convince the jury that Risner was a minister not just in his community but others across the globe.

They even reiterated evidence from a doctor brought in by the state who said Risner has a low risk for future acts of violence.

The jury however has been asked to consider all of the evidence presented from both parties as they deliberate, while answering two questions.

     -Is there a probability Risner will be a continuing threat to society?

     -Taking into consideration all evidence, his character and background, should a life sentence be imposed?

The jury had deliberated for almost five hours.

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