Defense expert: Officer justified in shooting of fleeing man

WOODBINE, Ga. (AP) — A law enforcement expert says he believes a Georgia police officer was justified in fatally shooting a man whom prosecutors say was unarmed and fleeing.

Defense attorneys for former Kingsland officer Zechariah Presley rested their case Thursday after testimony from forensic criminologist Ron Martinelli. Presley is being tried on a charge of voluntary manslaughter in the June 2018 slaying of Tony Green.

Prosecutors say Green was running from Presley after a traffic stop when the officer shot him eight times. Presley testified Wednesday that he feared for his life after Green jumped on top of him and grabbed at his gunbelt and Taser.

Martinelli told the jury that after reviewing the case evidence and interviewing Presley, he concluded the officer reasonably believed Green presented “an imminent deadly force threat.”

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