The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday that the prosecution of a former DeKalb County police officer charged with fatally shooting an unarmed veteran can resume after a year on hold.
Don Samuel, the attorney for Robert Olsen -- accused of killing Anthony Hill, naked at the time, outside a Chamblee apartment complex in March 2015 -- had argued that prosecutors violated the principle of grand jury secrecy by allowing unauthorized personnel with no connection to the case into the proceedings.
RELATED: DeKalb cop charged in unarmed vet’s slaying wants case thrown out
IN-DEPTH: In DeKalb police shooting, a rare indictment, a long road to trial
“Grand jurors were outnumbered by non-grand jurors at times,” Samuel said during a Sept. 2016 hearing.
But the Supreme Court was not convinced that the presence of extraneous staff “violated the need for grand jury secrecy or compromised the grand jury’s independence from outside influences.”
In a statement sent to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Samuel blasted the decision, saying it “enshrines the notion that the grand jury is nothing more than a tool of the prosecution that enhances its advantage in a criminal prosecution.
“The constitutional ‘right’ to a grand jury is no longer a ‘right’ at all,” he said.
Olsen is charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, violation of oath of office and making a false statement.
A more complete story will be available later today on myajc.com.
About the Author