Three Police Officers Indicted In Kathryn Johnston Case
ATLANTA April 26 â€” A Fulton County grand jury has indicted three current and former police officers who were involved in botched drug raid that led to the death of an elderly Atlanta woman in November.
Officer Jason R. Smith, who is on administrative leave from the Atlanta Police Department and Gregg Junnier, who retired from the force in January, face the most serious charges.
Mr. Smith is charged with four counts of murder, two counts of making false statements, two counts of burglary, violation of oath by a public officer, criminal solicitation, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment under color of legal process and perjury.
Mr. Junnier is charged with three counts of murder, two counts of burglary, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, violation of oath by a public officer, criminal solicitation and making false statements.
Officer Arthur Tesler, who is also on administrative leave, is charged with violation of oath by a public officer, making false statements and false imprisonment under color of legal process.
William McKenney, a lawyer defending Mr. Tesler, said today that his client will not plead guilty to any charges and planned to take his case to trial.
Mr. Smith and Mr. Junnier are expected to enter guilty pleas this afternoon in exchange for their cooperation in a continuing federal and state investigation.
Although the tentative agreements must still be accepted by a judge, the prosecutors will drop state murder charges against Mr. Smith, though he will still serve more than 12 years in prison for his role in the raid. Mr. Junnier faces at least 10 years behind bars.
While it won’t bring Mrs. Johnston back, it is nonetheless good to see that the men responsible for her death will face at least some small degree of justice.