A North Carolina man wanted to be in the courtroom to face the former Atlanta police officer who shot him in 2017. But Noel Hall wasn’t told the officer would be pleading guilty and sentenced.
Instead, in late February, former APD Sgt. Mathieu Cadeau pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years on probation.
“Not only was Mr. Hall shot in 2017, what has transpired with the sentencing of Mr. Cadeau without the involvement of my client is also a tragedy,” attorney Shean Williams with The Cochram Firm said Monday. “Justice has not been adequately served.”
In addition to a lenient sentence, Williams said Fulton County Judge Shawn LaGrua violated Georgia law by not allowing Hall to provide a statement in court.
Georgia’s Victims Bill of Rights became law in 1996. And in 2018 the so-called Marsy’s Law, an amendment to ensure victim’s voices are heard, passed overwhelmingly in Georgia and became law.
On Feb. 25, 2017, Hall and his family members traveled to Atlanta for a Supercross event that his son was participating in at the Georgia Dome. As Hall was leaving, he encountered Cadeau, who was working as an off-duty security officer directing traffic.
According to investigators, Cadeau told Hall he couldn’t make a left turn because of the traffic flow. But Hall attempted to tell the officer he needed to pick up equipment from the Supercross event and then turned his truck. That’s when Cadeau fired into Hall’s truck, striking him and narrowly missing Hall’s wife.
A bullet entered Hall’s arm and exited his chest, somehow missing vital organs, he said. He was treated at Grady Memorial Hospital and released the following morning. But he says he continues to suffer from physical and psychological complications of the ordeal.
Hall was seated between his wife, Christie, and his lawyer Monday morning as he spoke about the incident. The former college football player and Marine said he now suffers from post-traumatic stress order since being shot.
“He gets to live his life 30 years on probation, which in my opinion is a smack on the hand,” Noel Hall said. “And I get to live the rest of my life having to deal with this daily. It’s very real. It’s very life-altering. Physically, I’m still not 100%. Mentally, I’m not 100% and never will be 100%.”
In March 2018, records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed a supervisor had recommended Cadeau be fired for a previous incident where he provided false statements about his actions during a bar fight. Cadeau was allowed to keep his job until May 2018, when he was fired from the Police Department.
Then in October 2018, a Fulton County grand jury indicted Cadeau on charges of aggravated assault and reckless conduct, as well as two counts of violation of oath by a public officer.
In February, Hall and his attorney were notified of a court hearing. But Williams said he was told the purpose of the hearing was to reschedule for a later court appearance. Neither Hall nor his attorney attended.
Instead, Cadeau pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced by LaGrua to probation.
“I just don’t understand how he could only get 30 years of probation, and we’re all paying for it still,” Christie Hall said.
Two days after the hearing, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard filed an emergency motion to throw out Cadeau’s sentence and hold a new hearing in the case. LaGrua has not yet issued a ruling on the motion.
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