eyewtiness news at six, 3-21-13

6:31 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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Officer Clayton Sutton speaking with his attorney... just a few hours after killing an unarmed man at a Macon Kroger ...

Much more of that account...first tonight... On Eyewitness News at 6.

 

Hello everyone, and thanks for joining us.

I'm Frank Malloy.

And I'm Leah Johnson.

The video you just saw was released by the Bibb County District Attorney's Office.

We also have video of that day from a dash cam mounted on another officer's car.

We continue to cover new developments in the fatal shooting of Sammie Davis Junior..by a Macon police officer.

13 WMAZ's Tom George spent the day reviewing more case files...in that December shooting...outside a Kroger supermarket.

Well Officer Clayton Sutton's cruiser was not pointed in the direction of the shooting..and his dash camera was not turned on until after it happened.

But another officer's dashcam does show the aftermath.

This is the second officer pulling into Kroger for backup ... You can see him pull up and Clayton Sutton still standing there with his gun out.

He's facing toward wheree Sammie Davis would have been sitting down.... out of the frame ... Sutton appears to tell the second officer to back up and step away

About four hours later...investigators interviewed Sutton...and he told his version of what happened.

< I asked him to take his hands out of his pockets again, he still wouldn't take his left hand out of his pocket . I motioned like this and was fixing to tell to him put his hands behind his back . That time he lunged at me, grabbed my head with both hands, felt him cut my neck, broke off, pushed away, fired three times running away from him. >

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Sutton told investigators he had little time to react.

The investigation later found out that Sammie Davis was in fact unarmed.

But Sutton said in the heat of the moment, he didn't know it was just fingernails cutting his neck.

< This all happened in a matter of split seconds, couple of second ... two to three seconds .. So there was not sufficient time something cutting your neck to know if he had a weapon or not ... I knew something was cutting me and that he was doing it ... I was just scared >

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Now later in the tape, the two investigators asking the questions left the room....and a third man...his police union lawyer...asked Sutton how he felt about the shooting.

< I'll come back and finish the interview in a second ... Well, I'm not happy about having to kill a guy, but I'm not gonna put my life in jeopardy .. Oh hell no! >

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District Attorney David Cooke said he would not file any criminal charges against Officer Sutton. He said the shooting was justified...because Sutton felt his life was in jeopardy.

Macon Police are still conducting a Shooting Review Board to find out if any police protocol were violated.

That could still take another week or so.

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[Notes:LEAH]

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[ReadRate:14]

Now Sammie Davis' family say they plan on taking the case to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department to look into possible civil rights violations.

Forsyth city council members Desi Hansford and James Calloway face charges for allegedly accepting a 20-thousand dollar bribe from a city contractor.

Austin Lewis was in court when the two appeared before a federal judge today.

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<

Both Desi Hansford and James Calloway were in federal court today. They faced federal bribery charges for allegedly taking a bribe from a city contractor.

Calloway was arraigned in front of Judge Charles Weigle. He entered a not guilty plea to the charges against him.

As for Hansford, his appearance focused on bond which was set at 20,000 dollars and he could only travel within the state of georgia. He wasn't arraigned today because his lawyer had a personal emergency.

U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said their office is ready to take the next step in the case.

Moore: We feel strongly about the case the grand jury turned an indictment I don't want to comment on the specific facts or the particulars. I don;'t do that during the pendency of the case but we're ready to move forward and we believe we can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Both Hansford and Calloway declined to comment. Reporting in Macon Austin Lewis 13wmaz eyewitness news.

>

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Hansford will be arraigned at a later date.

Colethia Williams was the mother of four children. Three of them died when her home burned down.

And now...she's in the Bibb County Jail facing murder charges...after a judge denied her bond.

Reza Sedghi...her attorney... released a statement today saying her client is consumed with grief.

The statement says...in part

"It is extremely tragic that three of her four children lost their lives because of a fire that consumed the house.

"It is also equally tragic that the District Attorney's office has chosen to charge her with murdering her children...a crime that she did not commit."

According to police...Williams wasn't home around 1:30 a.m....on February 24th..when the James Street house burned.

Sedghi's statement does not address where Colethia Williams was...or why...at the time of the fire...and police haven't said either.

Williams faces three counts of felony murder...four counts of child cruelty in the second degree...and one count of felony false statements.

Her other child was treated, mainly for smoke inhalation...at the Augusta burn center...and then released.

Robins Air Force Base was set to send out furlough notices today to civilian workers.

But this afternoon.. leaders at the pentagon decided to put off those notices for two weeks.

According to a department of defense news release... Officials want to analyze how pending legislation to keep the government running for rest of the fiscal year Will affect the military.

They say furlough notices will now go out around April 5th.

The release says the legislation could have an impact on the number of furlough days each employee is required to take.

It was set at 22.

Robins employs more than 15-thousand civilian workers.

This week many of you sent pictures or asked questions to 13WMAZ... about a man dressed in fatigues... Carrying a flag and walking around Warner Robins.

Lorra Lynch Jones went to check out... Finding more than meets the eye about the marching marine.

McQuown is asking for donations. .

His website says those are managed through the non-profit.. And IRS recognized charity... Silver Star Families.

That organization helps combat wounded veterans.

It says donations will be used to "assist" McQuown's walk... And for general operating expenses of the non-profit group.

Investigators ruled last night's fire at a north Macon apartment complex accidental.

But they say the destructive fire could have been prevented with a little caution.

The fire happened at Lullwater at Bass apartments. Investigators say it was caused by a cigarette tucked in pine straw.

They say the fire started behind one building... then spread through a column... and into the roof.

Investigators say there are 20 units in the building... but only 10 units were damaged.

Those units will be checked for electrical problems before tenants can move back in.

They say the firewalls in the complex helped contain the fire..

< Lt. Ellen Kicklighter, Investigator, Macon-Bibb Fire Investigator: If you do smoke, please smoke in a secure area and carefully dispose of your cigarettes. >

There's no word on when those 10 units will be ready for tenants to move back in.

Management at the complex declined to comment.

Long-anticipated roadwork on Forest Hill Road...will have to wait 30 more days.

Bibb County judge Ed Ennis made that ruling during a hearing on a lawsuit by activist Lindsay Holliday...who wants to stop the road-widening project.

Holliday and others argue that the road-widening project in north Bibb County is unnecessary and will remove too many trees from that winding country road.

We could not reach the state DOT's attorney for comment.

Folks gathered at Northeast High School's field house in Macon to honor a former student athelete.

The field house was named in honor of Albert James Lucas during a ceremony today. Bibb County School board members voted in January to approve the request to rename the field house. Today's ceremony offered a chance for family and friends to remember Lucas who shared his talents in the community and on the football field. We talked with Macon City Council woman Elaine Lucas about what the ceremony means to her and her son's legacy.

<this being named in his honor is such a tribute. It just means so much and it means that his memory will live on.>

Lucas also played professional football for the Pittsburg Steelers and the Carolina Panthers.

No matter what you're looking for, there is bound to be a book you'll enjoy at the Macon centreplex.

Starting today and running through thursday,

the Friends of the Library group's annual "Old Book Sale" is in business.

Customers will purchase books for enjoyment, for interior design, or for resale.

The friends of the library raised over $80,000 dollars from the old book sale last year

Proceeds go towards libraries and raising literacy awareness in middle georgia.

 

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