A Memphis police officer has been charged with kidnapping and killing a man while on duty, authorities said.
Patrick Ferguson, 29, has been remanded in custody on charges of kidnapping and shooting Robert Howard, 30, after forcing him into the back seat of a squad car, a Memphis police department said in a statement.
Ferguson, who was on duty and “acting on his own accord,” said he drove Howard about a third of a mile from the victim’s home, where he killed him with his personal pistol, police said.
Howard was last seen at his home on Tuesday around 5pm, according to police. He was reported missing the next day after his girlfriend tracked down his phone but was unable to find him, police said.
Ferguson was arrested and fired immediately on Sunday, the police said. The former police officer is accused of first-degree murder, first-degree murder in aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and fabrication and falsification of evidence, police said.
According to police, Ferguson has been employed by MPD since October 201
A second man, Joshua Rodgers, 28, was arrested for allegedly helping Ferguson move the victim’s body, police said. Rodgers was charged with accessory after the fact of abusing a corpse and fabricating and falsifying evidence.
It was unclear on Monday whether Ferguson and Rodgers had lawyers.
Ferguson was held without bonds, while Rodgers was released on a $ 25,000 bond, according to the Shelby County Jail.
A hearing for Ferguson and Rodgers is scheduled for Monday morning, according to prison records.
The Shelby County Public Defender’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
“No one is above the law,” MPD director Michael Rawlings said in a statement. “Knowing that a Memphis police officer, someone who took an oath to defend and serve, made the decision to commit this horrific crime is devastating.”