Grand jury continues to review deputies' shooting of suspect

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 2:07 PM
Last updated 2:23 PM
  • Follow Latest News

A Richmond County grand jury continues to review the evidence this afternoon involving two sheriff’s deputies who fatally shot a suspect last December when they said he tried to run over one of them with his SUV at an Augusta housing complex.

Back | Next
Elmore  Special
Special
Elmore

Grand jurors are behind closed doors, but are said to be hearing testimony and reviewing police videotapes of the incident involving Deputies Jose Rivera Ortiz and Michael Hodge.

The shooting of Justin Elmore provoked several days of unrest in mid-December as hundreds in and around the Cherry Tree Crossing public housing complex off 15th Street shouted, marched and even threw bottles in protest.

The Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at Mr. Elmore's funeral, and the New Black Panther Party -- displaying guns -- later took to the streets.

The case had been turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which shared the results of its inquiry with District Attorney Ashley Wright. She presented that evidence today to grand jurors.

Although police dash-cam video of the incident had been seen by Sheriff Ronnie Strength, it had not been made public because it was part of the GBI’s investigation.

However, the sheriff said last December, he had seen the video and it indicated his men had acted properly.

According to the tape, it appears the deputies were defending themselves, he said. Neither has been involved in an officer-related shooting in the past. Both have been assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

The deputies were responding to a tip about a man with drugs and weapons in an SUV when they boxed in Mr. Elmore, 23, using their patrol cars, Sheriff Strength said.

As Deputy Ortiz approached from the front on foot, Mr. Elmore put his SUV in reverse, rammed Deputy Hodge's car and drove toward Deputy Ortiz.

A gunshot then fatally wounded Mr. Elmore. He was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital where he died several days later when his family asked that he be taken off life-support systems.

Follow augustachronicle.com for updates on today's grand jury meeting.

Comments (43) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
sueboo418
36
Points
sueboo418 05/05/09 - 04:36 pm
0
0
TheLaw7 pretty much sums up

TheLaw7 pretty much sums up the situation!!

karenlyss
3
Points
karenlyss 05/05/09 - 04:38 pm
0
0
AIG executives destroyed

AIG executives destroyed thousands of lives and lost tens of millions of dollars,, people's life savings are now gone. some have lost their homes so there's no home for some of these families to go to. dude it's not about the race card, as those crimes are just as heinous. but are they getting a chance at a fair trial, you betcha.

YAMAHADRGN
0
Points
YAMAHADRGN 05/05/09 - 04:41 pm
0
0
karnenlyss... do you even

karnenlyss... do you even have a clue on what your talking about.. what profiling what if a guy comes into a bank wearing a ski mask do you automatically assume hes going to rob the place... what if hes cold... you should really put yourself in the position of the police that deal with these situations daily... it was a notoriously bad section of town, were you can be pulled over for being white and driving around down there at night... i mean seriously.. did you live in a bubble your whole life?
the whole profiling thing is for the birds... it wouldn't have mattered if he was White, Hispanic, Black, Indian, or purple as far as that goes... he tried to run down a cop... a living breathing person.... cop or not. that's why he was shot. not because he was black.. you should really think before you open you mouth.

karenlyss
3
Points
karenlyss 05/05/09 - 04:42 pm
0
0
sueboo you have to be kidding

sueboo you have to be kidding me. do you know how many hundreds of college students are sitting in their dorm rooms right now committing credit card theft and other forms of financial fraud, destroying some hard working family's credit to fund their pot addiction?

karenlyss
3
Points
karenlyss 05/05/09 - 04:46 pm
0
0
YAMAHA "if someone walks into

YAMAHA "if someone walks into a bank wearing a mask" that's a dumb analogy. if someone is driving through a poor neighborhood that implies what?

sueboo418
36
Points
sueboo418 05/05/09 - 04:59 pm
0
0
Karen, bottom line here, this

Karen, bottom line here, this dude was a career criminal and made a choice to try and flee the cops because he knew he was going away for a long time and chose to run and it cost him his life. I'm not saying that all college kids are angels, I'm sure you are right that some are sitting in their rooms commiting all sorts of crimes but I would almost be willing to bet that statistically MOST college students do NOT have this kind of criminal history like Elmore had.

YAMAHADRGN
0
Points
YAMAHADRGN 05/05/09 - 05:01 pm
0
0
ok a poor neighborhood..

ok a poor neighborhood.. statistically speaking what element lives in a lower income neighborhood?
Household income less than $7,500, robbery rate were 7 per 1,000 households and $75,000 or more were 2 per 1,000.
Aggravated assault rates were 13 per 1,000 households for income less than $7,500 and 3 per 1,000 for income $75,000 or more.
statistics don't lie. not saying anyone is perfect by far. but one again the reason the guy was stopped as said in article was it matched the description of a stolen vehicle.. this was stated in a previous article back in December.. that's is probable cause.. there for, it doesnt matter what color he was

sueboo418
36
Points
sueboo418 05/05/09 - 05:01 pm
0
0
Oh and just maybe he could

Oh and just maybe he could have gotten a fair trial IF he had shown up for court!! Looking at his history he had LOTS of chances!!! He was an idiot.

storiesihaveread
332
Points
storiesihaveread 05/05/09 - 05:10 pm
0
0
I did not know it was a black

I did not know it was a black police officer. There you go black on black shooting. When will it stop??

bone
23
Points
bone 05/05/09 - 09:15 pm
0
0
dead thug. cops investigated

dead thug. cops investigated for defending themselves. idiots recommend caution. civilized humans realize that taking out the garbage is done in many ways. i will ALWAYS side with humanity and civilization in a case like this.

AugustaGal
0
Points
AugustaGal 05/05/09 - 10:57 pm
0
0
If you lived around here you

If you lived around here you would no he is a thug and sells kids drugs and steals and he isnt suppose to be on this property anyways. The cops have told him before to stay away and he been to jail many times and fought with them and everything else so yeah if I was a cop like them I would have shot him to cause everyone noes he was trying to kill them. Officer Hodge is also black and I would stick up for him a hell of a lot more than I would stik up for thug trash elmore and many of us feel that way around here but scared cause so many bad brothers and so many selling drugs to our kids and then acting like they can buy the world with there drug and blood money. Feel bad for his family casue they are nice but even they no he was bad and always in trouble and didnt have no respect for the police or anyone else around here trying to do right.

KSL
121917
Points
KSL 05/05/09 - 11:30 pm
0
0
It is a shame that his family

It is a shame that his family knew that and were not empowered to change his behavior. And I don't mean that the government failed him. They did.

UrbanMeyerHater
2
Points
UrbanMeyerHater 05/06/09 - 02:04 pm
0
0
Karenlyss, obey the commands

Karenlyss, obey the commands and dont attempt to run down a cop and you wont get shot and somtimes killed. Its that simple.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Commission rejects tax jump

Seven commissioners nixed a proposed tax increase Monday that would cost a typical homeowner $70 a year, leaving the countywide millage rate unset with just a few days to meet state deadlines.
Search Augusta jobs