Court refuses Alabama officer’s immunity claim in killing
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Supreme Court is rejecting a Montgomery police officer’s claim that he’s immune from prosecution in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.
The decision released Friday means a murder case will move forward against 25-year-old Aaron Cody Smith. He’s awaiting trial in the fatal shooting of 58-year-old Greg Gunn nearly three years ago.
But the court also granted the officers’ request for a new judge based on claims of possible bias. And the justices say the case should be heard outside the city where the killing occurred.
The officer’s lawyers argued in court that Smith couldn’t get a fair trial in Montgomery, where the shooting received heavy media coverage and sparked demonstrations.
The pre-dawn shooting happened after Smith stopped Gunn while he was walking through his neighborhood.