Appeal denied for former Portsmouth Police Officer sentenced for voluntary manslaughter

Stephen D. Rankin

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – An appeal for the former Portsmouth officer Stephen Rankin was denied Wednesday, according to the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

An Order from the Virginia Court of Appeals denied Stephen D. Rankin’s appeal of his Voluntary Manslaughter conviction for the shooting death of 18-year-old William Chapman II.

Rankin shot and killed Chapman during an incident that occurred around 7:35 a.m. on April 22, 2015 in the parking lot of the Walmart located at 1098 Frederick Blvd.

Click here for all of our coverage on Chapman’s death and Rankin’s trial

Portsmouth Police were alerted by Walmart security about a suspected shoplifter. Chapman was spotted crossing the parking lot on foot and was approached by Rankin.

During the encounter, a struggle ensued that resulted in Chapman being shot by the police officer. The officer immediately requested medics. Chapman died at the scene.

Chapman’s body was sent to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Norfolk for examination and autopsy.

Virginia State Police took the lead role in the investigation. They were asked to investigate the case by Former Portsmouth Police Chief Ed Hargis because it is the second officer-involved shooting in Portsmouth within the last month.