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Ga. Supreme Court lifts Jamie Hood trial suspension | News

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Ga. Supreme Court lifts Jamie Hood trial suspension

The Georgia Supreme Court lifted a brief suspension in the proceedings in the trial of the Athens man accused of killing a police officer during a traffic stop in March 2011.

Jamie Hood is accused of fatally shooting Athens-Clarke County Senior Police Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian and injuring SPO Tony Howard. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Jury selection began in Elbert County earlier this month. As of Friday, the jury had still not been selected.

Hood is defending himself.

The Georgia Supreme Court briefly halted the trial proceedings on Monday due to number of motions surrounding the case. Ga. Supreme Court spokesperson Jane Hansen issued a statement saying:

Late Friday, the State filed an emergency motion asking the high court to more permanently halt Hood's trial in order to consider a full appeal. The State argues among other things that the Athens-Clarke County trial court erred in ordering that jurors be picked in Elbert County and transported to Athens due to pre-trial publicity.

However, later Monday, the court issued another statement, saying:

Earlier today the Supreme Court of Georgia issued a temporary stay of the death penalty trial proceedings of Jamie Donnell Hood to consider whether it would grant the State's "emergency motion" for a full appeal of a number of rulings by the Athens-Clarke County Superior Court. Among the issues the State challenged was the trial court's decision to select jurors in Elbert County and transport them to Athens to serve as the jury in Hood's case.

The Supreme Court has now issued an order denying the State's emergency motion and has lifted the temporary stay of proceedings.

The court also wrote:

However, in this order, the high court notes that in addition to the emergency motion the State filed in the Supreme Court, the State also filed a "notice of appeal" in the Athens trial court. The state Supreme Court must now determine whether that "notice of appeal" may independently justify letting an appeal go forward. The Supreme Court's order directs the trial court clerk to immediately transmit that notice of appeal to the Supreme Court so it can consider its effect. The Supreme Court cautions the parties and the trial court to "examine" whether the trial court had the authority to proceed in the case once the notice of appeal was filed but before the Supreme Court received and considered it. Once the high court receives the State's notice of appeal, it will decide whether to hear an appeal or dismiss it. If it dismisses it, the trial court would regain the authority to proceed with the case.

In a third statement released on Monday, the court said it had dismissed the state's appeal of a number of rulings, allowing the trial court to continue Hood's trial.

The case will be tried in Athens, but the jury was being selected in Elbert County in hopes of finding impartial jurors.

Back in 2011, Hood surrendered to authorities on 11Alive after a massive manhunt. At the time, Hood was holding nine people hostage. Hood only agreed to end his standoff if it was covered on live television. Hood said that he believed that he would be shot by GBI agents because his brother had been killed in a standoff with police a decade earlier.

EXTENDED INTERVIEW: Listen to more of 11Alive's Valerie Hoff phone interview with Jamie Hood.

Stay with 11Alive.com for more details on this breaking news story. Watch 11Alive News at 6 for an exclusive interview with Hood!



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