LITTLE ROCK — The state police trooper who found a handgun and marijuana in a vehicle driven by an Arkansas State University football player in March but issued the running back only a speeding citation has been fired.
The state police on Thursday released the termination letter sent last week by State Police Director JR Howard to Cpl. Royce Denney. A letter from Denney’s attorney indicating he will appeal the decision also was released.
The appeal will be considered by the Arkansas State Police Commission.
In the letter, Howard said Denney, a 12 year veteran of the highway patrol division, demonstrated "unprofessional behavior and a lack of judgment" after stopping Michael Dyer on March 10 in White County.
"Your conduct and repeated demonstrations of a lack of judgment clearly shows that you are unable to conform to the standards of professionalism that is expected of a commissioned officer of the Arkansas State Police."
Denney ticketed Dyer for going 96 mph in a 70 mph zone.
During the stop, according to the Howard’s termination letter to Denney, the trooper turned off his in-car video recorder, confiscated the gun and disposed of the marijuana found in the player’s car, all violations of state policy policy.
Jeff Rosenzweig, Denney’s attorney, filed the notice of appeal on Thursday.
Dyer, a graduate of Little Rock Christian Academy, played football at Auburn before transferring to Arkansas State when Gus Malzahn was named head coach earlier this year.
Dyer was dismissed from the team on Sunday for violation of team rules.
Major J.R. Hankins filed the complaint against Denney on May 11.