Bond and court date set for officer charged with manslaughter
A former Alexander police officer facing a charge of manslaughter was given a new court date and a $10,000 signature bond after appearing in Benton District Court on Friday.
It was revealed that 47-year-old Nancy Cummings believes an attorney from the Arkansas Municipal League may represent her in court. However, she said no arrangement has been made at this point.
It was also revealed that Cummings was taken into custody during a training session at the Black River Technical College Law Enforcement Academy in Pocahontas.
The arrest of Cummings stems from the Sept. 8, 2012, shooting death of 30-year-old Carleton Wallace of Bryant. During an investigation by the Arkansas State Police, Cummings explained she was driving a patrol vehicle when she observed a man — later identified as Wallace — walking along Brookwood Street with a pistol tucked into the waistband of his pants. According to Arkansas State Police representatives, "Cummings said Wallace threw the gun into a wooded area next to the road. While searching Wallace for other weapons and attempting to arrest him, Officer Cummings' service weapon she had been holding discharged."
Wallace was taken to Saline Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Cummings was immediately placed on paid administrative leave after the incident. The ASP turned the investigation files over to Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Casady in November; and on Wednesday Cummings was arrested on a manslaughter charge.
On Friday, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Rebecca Bush requested that Judge Mike Robinson set Cummings' bond at $25,000. Public Defender Bobby Digby, however, explained that since Sept. 8, 2012, Cummings has not left the area and has continued to train as a police officer. Digby said since Cummings did not pose a flight risk, he requested a $5,000 sheriff's bond.
Just a couple of hours after Robinson set the $10,000 signature bond, Cummings had posted the bond. She is scheduled to appear in Benton District Court at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, for a plea hearing. If Cummings enters a plea of "not guilty," then a date to appear in Saline County Circuit Court is expected to be set.
Outside the courtroom, family members of Wallace declined comment; and Cummings' 25-year-old daughter — who was inside the police vehicle during the shooting incident on Sept. 8, 2012 — also declined to comment.
Cummings was hired by Alexander Police Chief Horace Walters on Jan. 30, 2012, as a part-time officer and was hired as a full-time officer for the department on Feb. 27, 2012. Prior to working at the Alexander Police Department, Cummings worked for the Pulaski County jail from 1997 to 2004 and the Arkansas Department of Correction from 2005 to 2011. Cummings reportedly trained at the ADC's Willis H. Sargent Training Academy in Tucker and also has received training through the Pulaski County Detention Center.
Walters also said there were no prior issues or reprimands on Cummings from the Pulaski County jail or the ADC and there were no issues with her in Alexander before the Sept. 8, 2012 shooting.
The Saline Courier will continue to report this story as it develops.
*Published Saturday in The Saline Courier. For full access to content, subscribe to the print edition by calling 501-315-8228 or the electronic edition by visiting www.salinecourier.com.