Court of Appeals sides with deputy
The state Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision dismissing all claims against Madison County Sheriff Randy Tucker and a deputy involved in the self-defense shooting death of a suspect in 2018, court documents say.
The Mississippi Court of Appeals affirmed the 2021 Madison County Circuit Court decision on March 21.
“After our review, we find no error,” the court ruled.
In August of 2021, the county court ruled that Deputy Robert D. Parker and Sheriff Tucker cannot be held liable in the shooting death of Michael Renfroe. The wrongful death suit was filed by Renfroe’s wife, Amanda, who was present at the time of the shooting.
“We are very proud that the Court upheld the lower court’s decision,” Madison County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Heath Hall said. “This is a system of justice and it has been affirmed.”
Court documents say Parker shot Renfroe when the deputy encountered the suspect on Old Natchez Trace Road while he was investigating a report of a burglary in the area on June 8, 2018, at approximately 10 p.m.
Around this time, Parker approached a white Chevrolet truck traveling on the road. Court documents say that without any instruction from the deputy, the driver of the truck stopped the vehicle and parked it on the right side of the road.
As Parker’s patrol car came to a stop behind the vehicle a male suspect wearing only pajama bottoms who would later be identified as Renfroe, exited the vehicle, without being instructed. He then extended his hands to show his open palms and dropped down onto his hands and knees.
Parker admits that he did not immediately identify himself as law enforcement, but said that the side of his patrol vehicle was in plain view and was clearly marked as an MCSO vehicle. He then ordered anyone else in the vehicle to exit the truck.
At this time Amanda Rnefroe exited the vehicle and Parker ordered her to lie on the ground. According to court documents, Michael Renfroe then “suddenly rose from the ground and began running toward Deputy Parker” yelling expletives.
Court documents say that Parker said he feared for his life and shot the suspect with his taser. Michael Renfroe then began to rip the taser darts from his chest and continued towards Parker. After defending himself from physical blows and escaping Michael Renfroe’s grasp, Parker said he fired four shots at Renfroe.