Former Tennessee officer indicted in death of missing man

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A former Tennessee police officer has been indicted on charges that he kidnapped a man in a squad car while on duty, fatally shot him, and disposed of the body, prosecutors said Wednesday.

A grand jury indicted former Memphis police officer Patric Ferguson, 29, on charges including first-degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, tampering with evidence, abuse of a corpse and official misconduct, the Shelby County district attorney’s office said in a statement.

Ferguson was arrested in January and held without bond on charges outlined in a police affidavit. A lawyer listed in court records when Ferguson was arrested did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the case.

Ferguson is charged in the death of Robert Lee Howard Jr., 30, who was reported missing in January by his girlfriend in Memphis.

Investigators said Ferguson was on duty when he went to Howard’s house, kidnapped him and shot him in the back of his patrol car.

Ferguson disposed of the body in one location, then asked another man to help him move Howard’s body to a second location. The other man has been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Police found bloody towels in Ferguson’s patrol car, which Ferguson said he used to clean up the evidence, the affidavit said.

Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the killing.

Ferguson was fired after his arrest. He had begun work for the Memphis Police Department in 2018.

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