Grand jury: Officer's use of deadly force against teen not authorized

Father speaks out after DA finds officer unauthorized to shoot teen

A Bartow County grand jury has concluded that an officer's use of deadly force against a teenager was not authorized. The county's district attorney said Tuesday her office will now re-examine the case.

On Feb. 14, Cpl. Nancy Beth Gatny with the Euharlee Police Department fatally shot Christopher Wayne Roupe after she knocked on the door of the Roupe home to serve a probation warrant to the 17-year-old's father.

Euharlee police previously said Roupe was pointing a gun at Gatny when he opened the door. But the Roupes' attorney told Channel 2 Action News that family members said the teen was holding a Nintendo Wii controller.

Roupe, a Woodland High School student, was transported to the Cartersville Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to the GBI, which investigated the shooting. Roupe had planned to participate in ROTC and later become a Marine.

This week, Bartow County District Attorney Rosemary Greene presented information to a grand jury.

"After reviewing the evidence presented, the February 2014 Grand Jury, by majority vote, has determined the use of deadly force by the officer involved was not authorized," the findings, filed Tuesday, state.

In an emailed statement, Greene said her office will "seek additional evidence to determine what, if any, criminal violations may have occurred as a part of this case and will submit those findings for potential action by a future Grand Jury."

Gatny previously worked for the Bartow County Sheriff's Office, but later resigned, Channel 2 previously reported. She was terminated by the Acworth Police Department after 10 years on the force due to exhausting her Family and Medical Leave entitlement.

While Euharlee Mayor Dennis Thayer was disappointed with the grand jury's findings, he said Wednesday that the city and the police department would continue to cooperate with the Bartow County District Attorney's Office and any subsequent investigation.

"The Euharlee Police Department is a professional organization and has responded to this incident ... with complete transparency," he said in the statement. "We have full confidence in the justice system and its ability to provide an unbiased decision based upon the findings of the investigation and facts of the case."

About the Author

Editors' Picks