Bay Co. Man Sentenced to 12 years for Arkansas Police Chief's Death

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

It was an emotional day in court Thursday as family and friends of Lowell, Arkansas Police Chief Joe Landers plead for justice in their loved one's tragic death.

"I wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares, my dad laying the middle of the road. I can hear him take his last breaths," said Landers' daughter Callie Landers.

Landers died back in April while in town for the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally. He was on his own bike headed down Thomas Drive when Jimmy Christo Jr., 53 years old, who was drunk at the time, slammed into him then fled the scene.

"He chose to drink that night, he chose to get in his car and drive. He showed complete disregard for human life," Callie Landers told the judge, "I hope that justice is served for my dad. He spent his whole life making sure people got the justice they deserved and that's all I ask from you guys today."

Chief Landers survived the accident but passed away a week later. Christo originally plead no contest to DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries but changed that to guilty Thursday.

"Nor will an hour ever pass again without thinking of the hurt I caused," Christo told Landers' family and friends in the courtroom.

The defendant, facing a potential of 45 years behind bars, apologized to the victim's family and asked for forgiveness.

"I just want to say how terribly, terribly sorry I am for my actions, and I God bless y'all," said Christo.

Several of Christo's family and friends also expressed their condolences as they plead for leniency from Judge Brantley Clarke.

After more than 30 minutes of testimony, Judge Clarke sentenced him to 12 years on each of the two counts to be served concurrently. That was the minimum sentence.

Christo will be 65 years old when he's released in 2025.


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