Hitchhiker accused in deputy's death

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) -- Prosecutors say an Arkansas deputy was performing a good deed when he was killed in a traffic wreck this week while driving a hitchhiker to a homeless shelter.

Prosecuting Attorney Carlton Jones says Lafayette County Chief Deputy Pete Richardson was "just trying to do the right thing" when he offered to drive Michael Ackart to a shelter in Texarkana, Texas.

According to an affidavit, Ackart, of Tulsa, Okla., told police that he grabbed the steering wheel while Richardson was driving, causing the deadly crash.

Ackart has been jailed on suspicion of second-degree murder.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that Ackart made his first appearance Tuesday in court, where he told a judge he did not have an attorney. He's next due in court April 4.

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