By Kristen Pownall
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Eddie Myers, the Tucson man convicted in the shooting death of a UA police officer in fall of 1990, was granted home arrest after a hearing with the Arizona Board of Clemency last Thursday.
Myers was sentenced in March 1992 to two concurrent five-year prison terms for his involvement in a fight that led to the fatal shooting of University of Arizona Police Department Cpl. Kevin Barleycorn.
On Aug. 24, 1990, Myers, then 17, fired a shot into the air at a Kappa Sigma fraternity party, 430 N. Cherry Ave. Thinking Myers was aiming at him, UAPD officer Ron Smallwood fired a shot a Myers, according to an article in the Arizona Daily Wildcat of March 13, 1992.
Smallwood's shot passed through Myers' arm and fatally struck Barleycorn in the left underarm as he was reaching for Myers. Myers was then convicted of manslaughter and aggravated assault, after pleading guilty to both.
Last Thursday, Myers, after serving two-and-a-half years of his jail term, had a parole hearing with the Arizona Board of Clemency.
The board looked at a number of factors such as Myers' offense, his involvement in the offense, what steps he has taken to address his problems and turn his life around and the amount of community and family support he will have upon release, said board chairman Dwayne Belcher.
After considering all these factors, the board decided to grant Myers home arrest, an inmate status program where he would be required to wear an electric device attached to his wrist or ankle, monitoring his activities all day, every day, Belcher said.
Word of Myers' release brought on varied reactions from the UA community and members of Barleycorn's family.
UAPD Chief Mike Thomas wrote a letter on March 24 to the Board of Clemency, opposing the consideration of Myers' early release.
"Mr. Myers owes a tremendous debt to society, to the Barleycorn family and to every member of this department," the letter states.
Thomas also wrote that it was "appalling to believe (Myers) would not be required to serve the full five-year sentence."
Other UAPD officers had said they were disappointed with the early release.
"There's a real sense of betrayal. I don't think there has been enough time for healing," said Judy Henton, UAPD property custodian.
"It's disheartening," said officer Wesley Brittain. "We did the right thing, we got the conviction and then we're not backed up by the legal system."
Cpl. Barleycorn's wife, Mary, said the early release was "very difficult."
"I wasn't prepared for the sentence to be up now. I was in shock when I found out he was to be released so soon," Barleycorn said.
"It just brings it all back, I've had to go through the pain all over again," she said.
Former Kappa Sigma member Bob McGlasson, who witnessed the shooting, said he hopes Myers "turns his life around," after his release.
Myers will be released to house arrest sometime in June, after other investigations and paperwork is completed, Belcher said. He said Myers is unsure where he will live upon his release. Read Next Article