BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A trial date has been set for a Pine Bluff woman accused of killing Pea Ridge Police Officer Kevin Apple.
In addition to capital murder, Shawna Cash, 23, faces charges of escape, fleeing, two counts of aggravated assault, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, criminal mischief, obstructing governmental operations and reckless driving. Her trial will begin in front of Judge Brad Karren in Benton County Circuit Court on May 30, 2023.
Cash was identified as the alleged driver in the June 26, 2021 incident that killed Officer Apple. Two officers tried to stop a car involved in a Rogers police pursuit and the involved vehicles came to a halt at a gas station on the corner of Slack Street and S. Curtis Avenue in Pea Ridge.
Camera footage obtained from White Oak gas station shows the suspect’s vehicle parked at the gas pumps when Officer Apple’s car pulled in front and another officer pulled in behind the vehicle.
Surveillance footage shows Officer Apple exiting his vehicle and attempting to verbally engage Cash and passenger Elija Andazola, 19. Seven seconds after Officer Apple exited his vehicle, the video shows Cash accelerating backward, slamming into the other officer’s vehicle.
In the video it appears Officer Apple draws his weapon and approaches the front of the suspect’s vehicle, standing directly in front of it. Approximately three seconds later, Cash accelerated forward, striking Officer Apple.
The officer was carried on the front of the suspect’s vehicle for several feet until Cash steered slightly to the right, striking the left front of Officer Apple’s patrol car, pinning him between two vehicles. As Cash continued to accelerate, Officer Apple was dragged underneath the suspect’s vehicle.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office Accident Reconstruction Team later determined Officer Apple was dragged approximately 149 feet through the gas station parking lot, over a curb, and almost to the intersection of Townsend Way and Slack Street where his body came to rest.
Andazola is being tried separately and pleaded not guilty to accomplice to capital murder and escape. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Cash.