Atlanta Cops Plead to Manslaughter in Botched Drug Raid

Two police officers involved in the shooting death of 92 year old Kathryn Johnson pled guilty in Atlanta to manslaughter today in state court and federal civil rights charges in federal court.

Officers plea guilty in killing of elderly woman in her home -- Murder charges dropped because men agree to help federal investigation of Atlanta Police Department.


Two Atlanta police officers made a second appearance in court today to plead guilty to felonies in the fatal shooting of a 92-year-old woman in her home. Officers Gregg Junnier and Jason R. Smith made their second stop Wednesday afternoon to plead guilty to violating the civil rights of Kathryn Johnston by killing her during a botched drug raid at her home Nov. 21. 2006.

Earlier in the day, the men were in Fulton Superior Court where they admitted to voluntary manslaughter charges along with several other state felony counts. Sentencing in both courts has been deferred until later to allow the men to cooperate with a federal investigation into the Atlanta police department's narcotics unit. The men are expected to serve at least 10 years in prison on the federal charges alone.

Before the hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Julie Carnes the two officers sat side-by-side on a bench. Junnier stared ahead while Smith read silently from a Bible opened to the book of John. Junnier was direct and spoke clearly as he answered Carnes' questions.

Smith, with a few tears, could barely be heard as he agree he was guilty to the federal charges.

Atlanta police chief Richard Pennington sat in the back corner of the courtroom watching his officers admit they had broken the law.

"Justice was served," Pennington said after the pleas. "We don't condone criminal misconduct. It's unfortunate any time you have a police officer [who feels] that they have to create false reports to enforce the law. It's a terrible day. And it's a sad day for them."

I posted several articles on this shooting incident on an innocent person's home, apparently based on false information to obtain a search warrant, and the last is here. To get the other eight posts, just search "www.ajc.com" at FourthAmendment.com.

[cross-posted to FourthAmendment.com]

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