Georgia man who defended himself convicted of killing Athens policeman

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 20, 2015 7:08 PM

By David Beasley

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia man who is believed to be the first in the state to defend himself in a capital case was found guilty on Monday of murder in the fatal shooting an Athens police officer and wounding another in 2011.

The jury will now decide whether the defendant, Jamie Hood, deserves to be executed or serve a life sentence for the murder of Officer Elmer “Buddy" Christian.

Hood, who was also convicted of the attempted murder of Officer Tony Howard, fired his lawyers and represented himself in the trial. In closing arguments on Saturday, Hood admitted shooting the officers, but said it was in self defense, according to media reports.

Hood said he heard the voice of his dead brother, who was killed by police 14 years earlier, telling him to “killed or be killed,” according to media reports.

In March 2011, Hood, then 33, opened fire after he was stopped in Athens, the home of the University of Georgia, about 60 miles east of Atlanta, by officers investigating a carjacking, police said.

After being cornered by police, Hood held eight people hostage in an apartment. He surrendered on live local television, which he had demanded as a condition for giving himself up, local media said.

(Editing By Frank McGurty and Christian Plumb)