The state trooper who shot a 60-year-old man in the head after a brief road chase started over a broken tail light has been denied bond after a judge ruled that granting a bond at this moment “would be inappropriate.”
Georgia State Patrol trooper Jacob G. Thompson has been charged with felony murder after fatally shooting 60-year-old Julian Lewis who failed to stop when Thompson wanted to pull him over due to his broken tail light.
The incident occurred back in August when 27-year-old Thompson engaged in a brief chase with Lewis after the driver refused to stop.
The state trooper eventually caught up with the 60-year-old and used the Precision Intervention Technique in order to force the driver off the road.
After approaching the pursued vehicle, Thompson reportedly shot Lewis in the head, causing the man to die on the scene.
According to the incident report shared by Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the state trooper insisted he shot Lewis in the head because he believed the 60-year-old was about to run him over.
“At some point, I heard the engine on the violator’s vehicle revving at a high rate of speed. I saw him wrenching the steering wheel in an aggressive back and forth manner towards me and my patrol vehicle,” Thompson alleged.
“It appeared to me that the violator was trying to use his vehicle to injure me. Being in fear for my life and safety, I discharged my weapon once.”
Following the shooting, the 27-year-old was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and felony murder. He has now also been denied bond due to Screven County Judge F. Gates Peed ruling that it “would be inappropriate” to grant bond at this time.
Praising the judge’s ruling was the Lewis family’s lawyer, Francys Johnson, who suggested that “the unprecedented pace of the investigation is a direct result of years of activism on these issues along with a sea-change in law enforcement leadership at the top of the GBI [Georgia Bureau of Investigation].”
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