EAST FELICIANA PARISH, La. (WAFB) - A grand jury in East Feliciana Parish has returned a no true bill against the deputy involved in a fatal shooting in 2019 that left a 31-year-old man dead, District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla confirmed Tuesday, March 10.
A no true bill means the charges have been dismissed due to there not being enough evidence to charge someone with a crime.
Greg Phares with the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office says Sims is still with the office as a part-time deputy, but has not worked since the shooting. His employment status going forward will be discussed in the near future.
The decision against Deputy Glenn Sims Sr. was initially delayed because some members of the grand jury were related to both Sims and Christopher Whitfield, 31.
Whitfield was killed by Sims at a gas station in Ethel on Oct. 14, 2019.
East Feliciana Parish Sheriff Jeff Travis claims Whitfield was attempting to steal from the gas station. An employee says Whitfield was trying to take raw chicken and a carton of eggs from a refrigerated unit behind the building.
Sims allegedly fired at Whitfield accidentally as the two struggled after a brief foot pursuit, killing Whitfield.
The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office was able to lead the investigation into the shooting because there is no legal requirement that the investigation be turned over to a third-party agency. In similar situations, however, law enforcement agencies allow Louisiana State Police to lead the investigation.
During a press conference, Travis said he’d learned Sims had a criminal record, with charges including illegal discharge of a weapon, simple battery, and resisting an officer.
After the discovery, Travis said the sheriff’s office would "take appropriate action.“
Whitfield’s family members believed the appropriate action would be to fire and arrest Sims.
The family said Whitfield struggled with his mental health and despite previous run-ins with the law, didn’t carry guns and did not pose a threat to law enforcement. The family claims at the time of his death, Whitfield was unarmed and shot in the back.