SEBASTIAN COUNTY (KFSM) — Several law enforcement officers read an impact statement to Billy Monroe Jones in court Tuesday (Nov. 29) before the judge accepted his guilty plea.
Barling police officer Keith Lindley was among them.
“It was much more difficult than I had anticipated,” Lindley said. “It was surreal seeing him in person. It was the first time I had seen him since he was being led out of the trailer after he had surrendered on August the 10th.”
Lindley was there for the standoff on Highway 253 in Greenwood.
“I really thought I was just going to run down there and try to help out with traffic,” he said.
Jones shot and killed Cpl. Bill Cooper. Another one of the bullets grazed Hackett Police Chief Darrell Spells, and Greenwood’s K-9 Kina was injured in the gunfire.
“That was the last thing that I had expected when I came to work that day,” Lindley said.
Lindley said Jones’ guilty plea is closure for him and many others.
“I think that's the best thing that happened was the closure for Ruth Cooper and the Cooper family,” he said.
When the judge asked if Jones had anything he wanted to say after hearing from Lindley, Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck and Chief Darrell Spells, Jones said he was sorry.
“Sorry's not going to bring Bill Cooper back,” Lindley said.
However, Lindley said the outpouring of support gives him hope.
“Our community cares about law enforcement,” Lindley said, “and if you want any proof of that whatsoever just look at photographs and videos of people that lined the streets to say goodbye to him.”
Officer Lindley also said fear didn't kick in until after the incident. He said he and other officers were focused on trying to get Cooper and Spells out.