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Man won’t face death penalty in officer’s fatal shooting

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors say the man accused of fatally shooting a Virginia State Police special agent last year has entered a plea and won’t face the death penalty.

The Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that Travis Ball entered an Alford plea to one count of capital murder of Trooper Michael Walter. An Alford plea acknowledges prosecutors have enough evidence to convict without admitting guilt.

Prosecutors say Ball won’t face the death penalty at sentencing on Oct. 11, “pursuant to an agreed-upon range.”

The shooting happened in May 2017, when police say Walter and a Richmond police officer approached a car while on patrol. They say Ball, a passenger in that car, fired a shot and ran. Ball was arrested in Northumberland County about an hour after Walter died.

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