Bibb DA: Decision on Kroger shooting in two to three weeks

awomack@macon.comFebruary 28, 2013 

The GBI has completed its inquiry into the December fatal shooting of a Macon man at the Pio Nono Avenue Kroger by a Macon police officer.

The GBI’s investigative file was handed off to the Bibb County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday afternoon, according to the GBI.

Officer Clayton Sutton has been on administrative leave since shooting 49-year-old Sammie “Junebug” Davis Jr. three times in the chest Dec. 21. He is reported to have told police he was cut during his encounter with Davis.

District Attorney David Cooke said he will announce his decision about whether the shooting was justified in two to three weeks.

“This is a large file. It includes hours of video and recorded interviews and hundreds of pages of documentary evidence,” he said at a Thursday news conference. “We are going to do this right. We know that this is an important case and the community wants and deserves answers.”

GBI agents put in a minimum of 200 man hours into the investigation, Cooke said.

“They were very thorough,” he said.

Cooke requested that the GBI conduct an independent review of the incident on Jan. 1.

Agents conducted interviews, reviewed physical evidence and listened to 911 recordings.

The GBI’s crime lab also performed multiple tests, including one pertaining to DNA. The results of the final test were returned to agents Thursday.

The file also includes videos of multiple relevant facts pertaining to the case, Cooke said.

Cooke said he may seek “counsel” from other prosecutors or retired prosecutors before making his decision, but said he will “take the lead.”

Cooke said he spoke with Davis’ sister after receiving the GBI’s file Thursday.

“She knows that we’re just beginning,” he said.

Attempts to reach Davis’ sister and the family’s lawyer were unsuccessful Thursday afternoon.

Since the shooting, protests have been held and community leaders have raised questions about the incident.

Few details have been released.

Cooke said he won’t discuss the facts of the case until he announces his decision.

If it’s found that Sutton was justified, he likely won’t return to a job in the public eye because of concerns about danger, Chief Mike Burns has said.

If Sutton is found to have committed a crime in shooting Davis, he will be fired, the chief has said.

Police previously were called to the Kroger on July 7, 2010, after customers complained about a man in the parking lot who was acting strange. Employees tried to restrain the man, later identified as Davis, “for the safety of the customers” and a struggle ensued. A store manager received minor injuries, according to a police report obtained by The Telegraph in February.

Davis, who suffered from schizophrenia, had not been taking his medication and was taken to The Medical Center of Central Georgia for evaluation, according to the report.

Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.

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