Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Charges to Depend on Grand Jury; PROSECUTOR Says No Indictments Planned When He Asks Grand Jury to Review Fatal Police Shooting. POLICE CHIEF Welcomes the Review and Says Both Officers Will Be Cleared of Homicide in the Incident

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Charges to Depend on Grand Jury; PROSECUTOR Says No Indictments Planned When He Asks Grand Jury to Review Fatal Police Shooting. POLICE CHIEF Welcomes the Review and Says Both Officers Will Be Cleared of Homicide in the Incident

Article excerpt

Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

BRUNSWICK - Acting District Attorney David Perry won't have any indictments in hand when he asks a Glynn County grand jury to review the shooting death of a Brunswick woman by county police last month.

"I'm going in there with the evidence, not an indictment. They will hear all of the evidence. We will discuss how they want to proceed and we will decide what to do from there," Perry told The Times-Union on Friday.

"I have no preconceived notions or stance but there are questions here that need to be answered," he said.

Perry, however, had told reporters Monday he would ask a grand jury to bring manslaughter charges against the two officers who fired at Caroline Small.

Police Chief Matt Doering previously said it would be premature for Perry to decide to seek indictments before the investigations were completed.

Doering was pleased to learn Friday that that would not be the situation.

"Obviously, I'm relieved ... I certainly welcome the opportunity for the grand jury to review all of the facts," he said.

Any grand jury review will come after two investigations are done, an internal police investigation and a separate Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe.

Perry said no action will be taken against the officers, unless and until, a grand jury determines whether criminal charges should be filed.

"I have instructed the GBI not to issue any arrest warrants in this case until the grand jury finishes its work," he said.

Small, 35, died from two bullets to the brain, preliminary autopsy results show. A GBI medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide, which means it resulted from the action of another person or persons.

Sgt. Corey Sasser and Officer Todd Simpson fired eight bullets into the windshield of Small's car June 18 as it came toward them at a gap between two police cars that had nearly boxed in the 1991 Buick sedan following a slow, erratic chase.

Small died without regaining consciousness exactly one week after the June 18 shooting. Investigators are working to determine who fired the fatal shots.

On Monday, Perry viewed a videotape recording made by a patrol car camera and other preliminary evidence in the shooting. …

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