Family of officer killed in the line of duty faces his murder suspects

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — The family of a police officer killed in the line of duty faced the two suspects charged in his murder in court Monday.

Latarius Howard and Bruce Hillie were arraigned in Phillips County, Ark., where they pleaded not guilty in Travis Wallace’s death.

Terica Wallace, Travis Wallace’s sister, fought back the tears when she walked out of the courtroom.

She said all her family wants is justice after Officer Wallace was killed while trying to stop one of the suspects from leaving the parking lot at Delta Inn Motel last November.

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“We understand that sometimes justice is slow, so we get that.  We just want our day in court.  That’s what we want: swift justice,” said Wallace.

Wallace and her family faced the two suspects charged in the death of her brother Officer Travis Wallace, a five-year veteran with the Helena-West Helena Police Department, before he was shot and killed in November.

“Lots of emotions. Hurt, disgust; but they’re lowlife criminals, so I won’t even give them the time of day,” Wallace said.

Our cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom, but we did capture the suspects leaving.

Officers say 24-year-old Bruce Hillie is believed to be the getaway driver.

They say 29-year-old Latarius Howard is the man who likely fired the shot that killed Wallace five months ago.

Police Chief James Smith joined the family in the courtroom.  He said Howard was wanted in connection to another shooting when he allegedly shot and killed Officer Wallace.

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“We’re going to entrust in the court system and allow the court system to do their job. In the meantime, this is a process of healing for the family, not only the family but also our department as well,” Smith said.

Loved ones say Wallace’s son is taking the death the hardest.

“Some days are better than others. He misses his dad terribly; he does. The whole family does. But how do you explain to a 10-year-old that his dad is not coming back? So we have to deal with that, but we’re handling it,” Wallace stated.

Wallace’s mother was also in the courtroom but was not ready to talk on camera.

Both suspects are scheduled to be back in court on May 10.