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Death penalty sought for woman accused of killing Pea Ridge police officer

Fatal hit-and-run especially cruel and depraved, says filing against PB woman by Tracy Neal | August 27, 2021 at 3:29 a.m.
Elijah Andazola

BENTONVILLE -- Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty for the woman charged in the killing of a Pea Ridge police officer.

Shawna Cash, 22, of Pine Bluff is charged with capital murder, escape, fleeing, two counts of aggravated assault, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, criminal mischief, obstructing governmental operations and reckless driving.

Elijah Michael Andazola, 18, of Bentonville is charged with accomplice to capital murder and escape. He pleaded innocent Thursday to the charges at his arraignment before Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green.

Cash and Andazola are accused of killing Kevin Apple, a Pea Ridge police officer.

Apple died June 26 at the White Oak station in Pea Ridge when he was hit by a Jeep and dragged about 149 feet, according to court documents. Apple, 53, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Cash was driving the Jeep while Andazola was a passenger, according to court documents. Capital murder is punishable by life in prison or the death penalty. The two are being held without bail in the Benton County jail.

Prosecutors filed aggravating factors needed in order to seek a death sentence for Cash. The aggravating factors weren't filed in Andazola's case.

The factors listed in Cash's case are that the capital murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing an arrest or effecting an escape from custody and for the purpose of disrupting or hindering the lawful exercise of any governmental or political function; and it was committed in an especially cruel and depraved manner.

Cash's arraignment is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Sept. 15 in Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren's court.

An omnibus hearing is scheduled for Oct. 4 in Andazola's case.

Apple and officer Brian Stamps responded to a call about 11:30 a.m. June 26 to be on the lookout for an older, blue Jeep that was being pursued by Rogers police. They saw the Jeep at the White Oak station at 12:09 p.m., according to Lt. Michael Lisenbee, public affairs officer for the department.

They parked on both ends of the Jeep, which was parked at the gas pumps, and attempted to speak with the occupants, Lisenbee said.

A struggle started, Lisenbee said. The Jeep rammed one of the Pea Ridge police vehicles. The Jeep was then driven over Apple, dragging him. The Jeep's driver then drove away, heading west on Slack Street.

Shawna Cash
Shawna Cash

Print Headline: Death penalty sought in Pea Ridge officer's slaying


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