Prosecutor Wants Cops Charged; GLYNN COUNTY SHOOTING A 34-Year-Old Woman Was Shot to Death after a Low-Speed Chase. CHIEF DISAGREES He Says His Officers Acted Properly after Making a Split-Second Decision

By Stepzinski, Teresa | The Florida Times Union, June 30, 2010 | Go to article overview

Prosecutor Wants Cops Charged; GLYNN COUNTY SHOOTING A 34-Year-Old Woman Was Shot to Death after a Low-Speed Chase. CHIEF DISAGREES He Says His Officers Acted Properly after Making a Split-Second Decision


Stepzinski, Teresa, The Florida Times Union


Byline: TERESA STEPZINSKI

BRUNSWICK - The Rev. Michael L. McGehee did one of the hardest things a parent can do Tuesday. He buried his daughter, Caroline McGehee Small, who died after being shot in the face by Glynn County police officers, who now face a possible manslaughter indictment.

"It's been a tragic death as you know from the circumstances," McGehee, his voice tight with emotion, told The Times-Union by telephone as mourners arrived at his Red Springs, N.C., home in preparation for the 2 p.m. graveside service nearby.

Caroline's mother, Karen Raines McGehee, could only weep when reached at her Tallahassee home.

Caroline's former husband, Keith Small of Brunswick, could not be reached for comment.

Small, 35, of Brunswick, died Friday at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah where she had been hospitalized without regaining consciousness since the June 18 shooting following an erratic, slow chase.

She died from two bullets to the brain, preliminary autopsy results showed. A Georgia Bureau of Investigation medical examiner has ruled it a homicide, meaning it resulted from the action of another person or persons.

Sgt. Corey Sasser and Officer Todd Simpson fired eight bullets into the windshield of Clark's car as it maneuvered toward them at a gap between two police cars that had nearly boxed in the 1991 Buick sedan, county Police Chief Matt Doering has said.

Acting District Attorney David Perry announced Monday he will ask a grand jury to charge the two officers with voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.

He made the decision after viewing a recording of the shooting made by a patrol car camera, and other preliminary evidence during a meeting with Doering.

Perry, however, might change his mind depending on the outcome of two continuing investigations into the shooting.

In Georgia, voluntary manslaughter means a person caused someone's death under circumstances that otherwise would be considered murder. It is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Involuntary manslaughter occurs when a person causes someone to die without intending to do so. It carries a maximum 10-year prison term.

Doering on Tuesday described Perry's decision as premature because both an internal investigation and a separate GBI probe are ongoing. He emphasized, again, his belief the officers acted reasonably given the circumstances. …

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