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Jamie Hood makes opening statements in murder trial | News

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Jamie Hood makes opening statements in murder trial

ATHENS, Ga. – The man accused in the murder of an Athens police officer delivered opening statements in his own death penalty trial on Thursday.

Jamie Hood is defending himself on 70 charges, including killing a police officer and a civilian, and wounding another officer.

Authorities say Hood shot and killed Senior Police Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian and injured SPO Tony Howard in March 2011. Hood is charged in the death of Kenneth Omari Wray, a county employee, in December 2010.

With no legal background, the 37-year-old Hood began his opening arguments cordially, but things ended up fiery.


Hood told the jurors many of the same things he told 11Alive in a recent phone interview. He said that the 2011 crime spree was spurred by corrupt cops and a dishonest district attorney.

"The evidence will show these are bunch of ugly lies -- not just lies, ugly ones," Hood said.

Hood delivered his opening statement after District Attorney Ken Mauldin promised the jury that he would prove every offense in the 70-count indictment, including felony murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault and carjacking.

Mauldin said Hood's crime spree culminated in the shootings of Christian and Howard. Christian died at the scene.

"His last words, as the evidence will show, were, 'I'm shot,'" Mauldin said.

Hood told the jury this case is about police brutality and is bigger than just him.

"I am not here for Jamie Hood, I'm here for righteousness. I am here to present the facts and the evidence to you in hope to receive justice for all parties," Hood said. "I never had any intent on the charges occurring, and my heart goes out to Officer Christian and his family and his loved ones, and all the people who were affected by these events."

There were numerous objections during Hood's opening arguments -- mostly for personal attacks on the district attorney.

Hood spent the afternoon cross examining the state's first witness, a former GBI agent, and demanding to know why he didn't have any written notes from the March 2011 alleged crime spree.


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