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FYI- Miller County Arkansas southern border is the Louisiana State line.

Coroner Does About-Face On Where Lawyer Shot
by Julie Parr
POSTED: 4:03 pm CDT October 21, 201

TEXARKANA --  The medical examiner in the investigation into the death of north Caddo Parish attorney John Morneau, who was shot and killed by a Miller County, Ark., sheriff's deputy two weeks ago, has made an about-face when it comes to saying where Morneau was shot.

Morneau's first death certificate said he was shot in the back. Miller County Coroner Eddie Hawkins Jr. has now issued a new one that indicates Morneau, 71, was shot in the chest.

Hawkins would not go into specifics Thursday about why that was done, except to say there was a mistake.

Morneau had been involved in a dispute with members of an Arkansas hunting club over his property line near the town of Ida. Morneau, who lived on the property, believed hunting club members were encroaching on his land.

The dispute had gotten ugly, with complaints of vandalism. Law officers said three Arkansas game wardens took a Miller County sheriff's deputy with them on Oct. 10 to arrest Morneau for threatening people.

Morneau was known to carry a revolver on each hip. Arkansas State Police, who are investigating the shooting, said Morneau pulled a gun when the agents confronted him and leveled it. The sheriff's deputy shot him with a rifle. Morneau never fired.

Morneau family attorney Dan Keele believes Morneau was lured into the woods by somebody.

"We do not think this is simply a case of a justified law enforcement shooting," Keele said. "The persons involved in the planning and execution of misdemeanor warrants for John Morneau have a lot of explaining to do as to why they set up a Bonnie and Clyde felony situation, when John could have simply been called in (and told), 'John, come on down.'"

Arkansas State Police will send their findings to Miller County's prosecuting attorney, who will decide if the shooting was justified.

Both the state assistant medical examiner involved in the autopsy and Miller County Sheriff Ron Stovall would not comment on the case. Stovall has not identified the deputy involved in the shooting.

Morneau had recently written letters to the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Department about his property dispute with the hunting club. In one he expressed concerns "the situation will escalate until it ends in a violent confrontation."
Again- Be safe out there.
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