Conway prosecutor declines to charge officer in fatal November shooting of 78-year-old man

CONWAY -- No charges will be filed in connection with a Conway Police Department officer-involved shooting last November that resulted in the death of a 78-year-old man, the department announced Thursday in a press release.

The incident occurred Nov. 20, when Allen Seibert was shot while police attempted to serve a search warrant at 3715 Old Morrilton Highway for possession of child sexual abuse materials.

In a Jan. 26 letter sent by the Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Carol Crews to Col. Mike Hagar, the officer in question is identified only as "Officer Robertson."

In the aftermath of the shooting, the Conway Police Department requested that the Arkansas State Police investigate the incident.

According to a post on social media, prior to Nov. 20, Conway Police had received information from the Homeland Security Investigations Division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about child sexual abuse materials being downloaded at the Old Morrilton Highway address.

Detectives were able to confirm the download had occurred at that address and obtained a search warrant for the residence.

The release said that when the officers attempted to gain entry to the house, they were met by a shotgun-wielding Seibert.

The police department released body cam footage of the incident.

Said video, which lasts 3 minutes, 14 seconds, shows armed officers approaching a yellow home in the midst of a rain shower.

In Crews' letter, she writes that "when approaching the house, officers are heard commenting that they see an exterior camera."

The officer wearing the body camera is the first to the door and attempts to open the outer door, but it is locked.

Officers announce that a crow bar is being used and one of them uses it to pry open the door.

That officer then bangs on the door, before twice announcing "Conway PD, search warrant!"

That same officer, who is identified by a name tag as "D. Danner," then utilizes a breaching device to break through the door.

While successful, the door was barricaded by a piece of furniture.

As the door is breached, an officer again announces "Police department, search warrant!" twice before yelling "put it down!"

According to the letter from Crews, the officer said that Seibert pointed the gun at the front door "in the direction of the police officers."

In the video, shots are then fired into the front room.

More yelling ensues with "let me see your hands! Gun! Gun! Gun! Shots fired! Show me your [expletive] hands!"

When officers finally enter the room Seibert is shown for the first time. He is sitting against a far wall behind a recliner. His face is blurred and a blood stain is seen on his chest.

Seibert's hand are raised as officers continue to order him to show his hands and to "roll on your stomach."

The remainder of the video shows officers clearing the rest of the house before the one wearing the body cam exits the home and turns it off.

According to the statement of social media, officers began providing medical aid to Seibert until Pafford EMS arrived on the scene and took over. Seibert was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

After the state police's investigation was concluded, the file was provided to the 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney's Office for review.

Crews' office found use of force was justified under Arkansas Law, and no criminal charges will be filed against the involved officer.

Crews cited Arkansas Code Annotated 5-2-610(b)(2), which says that "a law enforcement officer is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if the law enforcement officers reasonably believes that the use of deadly physical force is necessary to defend himself or a third person from what the law enforcement officer reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force."

Crews concluded her letter by stating that "it was reasonable for Officer Robertson to meet that threat with deadly force."

While the result was "a very tragic incident, based on all the evidence presented to this office," the officer's "actions did not violate any criminal statutes" in Arkansas.

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