Criminal defense: Three Georgia residents are in legal hot water after a shooting that took place recently. One of the three is accused of shooting and killing an off-duty police officer. All three people at the scene are now facing state criminal charges in connection with the incident.

The incident happened outside of a Waffle House where the off-duty police officer, although in full uniform, was acting as security for the restaurant. It is claimed that the three individuals were under the influence, making derogatory racial comments and were not respectful to the officer. Ultimately, the three allegedly caused a commotion, which prompted a request for them to leave the premises. An altercation occurred that continued in the parking lot, and the officer attempted to place the girlfriend of one of the men under arrest.

While the officer was attempting to restrain the girlfriend, he was on the ground, which is reportedly when the woman’s boyfriend shot the officer in the back multiple times. The alleged shooter and his girlfriend were charged with felony murder, and the third individual was charged with disorderly conduct. The girlfriend was also charged with felony obstruction.

A felony murder charge is undoubtedly a frightening experience for anyone. It may be even more unsettling when the victim is a police officer. Many people who are accused of killing an officer of the law fear they will face harsher penalties out of retribution. However, regardless of what the state criminal charges are or who the victim is the personal feelings of those within the legal system are not to be a factor. Everyone is afforded the presumption of innocence until and unless proved guilty by Georgia prosecutors. A good criminal defense attorney needs to get involved very early on in these types of cases.

Source: The Augusta Chronicle, “3 charged in cop slaying outside Ga. Waffle House“, Greg Bluestein, Rodney Thrash, June 1, 2014

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