Cop in ‘Junebug’ Davis shooting appeals firing

Staff reportJune 11, 2014 

Clayton Sutton is appealing his firing as a deputy from the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office.

Sutton filed his appeal with the Macon-Bibb Human Resources Department on Tuesday, said Ben Hubbard, the department’s director. Sutton was fired Friday for alleged insubordination.

Hubbard said a hearing officer will be chosen soon to oversee the matter, and a hearing may be later this month.

Sutton shot and killed Sammie “Junebug” Davis Jr. in 2012 in a Kroger parking lot off Pio Nono Avenue after Davis lunged and attacked him.

Sutton was cleared of wrongdoing in the controversial case, which was investigated for weeks, prompting racially charged protests and criticism over the way tight-lipped officials handled the probe.

This year, Sutton was put on desk duty after a March shooting incident involving a dog. Sheriff David Davis told Sutton not to engage in any law enforcement functions.

On June 4, however, Sutton stopped people who were “acting suspiciously” on Ga. 247 in south Bibb County.

Davis said Tuesday that those actions were counter to his order.

Sutton was driving along Ga. 247 when he saw a Lincoln Town Car pulled into the woods, according to an incident report. He saw two men loading metal into the back of the car.

Sutton called for patrol officers to come to the scene to stop the car, but it soon pulled into northbound traffic before they arrived.

Sutton followed the car for several minutes, staying five to seven car lengths behind the men as the Town Car cruised near the entrance to Macon Regional Airport.

At one point the Town Car stopped on Airport Drive, and one of the men got out and shut the car’s trunk, the report said. The man looked at Sutton and began walking toward the deputy’s car. Sutton got out of his car and told the man to get on the ground. He told the car’s other occupants -- a man and a woman -- to get out.

Sutton handcuffed the two men and waited for the patrol deputies to arrive. Afterward, he showed the deputies where he originally saw the Town Car in the woods.

Davis’ sister, Cheryl Davis, whom Davis lived with half a mile or so from the supermarket where he died, told The Telegraph that Sutton’s firing “doesn’t change anything.”

“I wasn’t excited about it. I think it was too little too late,” she said Wednesday evening.

“I think Clayton Sutton is somebody just wrapped up in his own hubris. ... He was arrogant, he felt entitled, and I think that spilled over to the people he came in contact with.”

Cheryl Davis, 52, added, “I want to know if Clayton Sutton is remorseful for what he did. ... (He) never once said to us, ‘I’m sorry.’”

Reached by phone later, Sutton declined comment.

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