WOODBINE, Ga. – A judge agreed Monday to ease the curfew imposed on a former Georgia police officer awaiting trial on manslaughter charges in the fatal shooting of a fleeing suspect.
Zechariah Presley was on-duty as a Kingsland police officer June 20 when 33-year-old Tony Green was shot in coastal Camden County. Presley was fired and arrested after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation determined Green was fleeing when the officer shot him multiple times.
Presley was released from jail on a $100,000 bond in July. His attorney, Adrienne Browning, told the judge at a pretrial hearing Monday that the 12-hour daily curfew imposed on Presley as a condition of his bond was making it difficult for him at his new job driving a delivery truck in nearby Jacksonville, Florida.
"The 7-to-7 curfew really restricts the hours he's able to work," Browning told the judge. She said some evenings Presley has had to check into a hotel to avoid curfew violations because "at 7 p.m. he's got to be inside and he can't make the trip home."
Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett shorted Presley's curfew to seven hours during weekdays after prosecutors said they have no reports of Presley violating any terms of his bond, which also prohibits him from working in law enforcement or security and from having firearms. He's also required to stay away from Green's family.
Prosecutor Robert German told the judge that Green's family opposed any change to Presley's curfew. The family had previously sought unsuccessfully to keep Presley jailed until his trial.
Attorneys on both sides asked the judge Monday to consider scheduling Sept. 30 for Presley's trial to begin. Scarlett didn't immediately set a trial date, saying he needed to check his calendar first.
Investigators have released few details about the shooting. The GBI has said Presley was following a vehicle Green was driving when Green got out and began to run. The two men got into a brief altercation, the bureau said, before Green began to flee again and Presley fired multiple gunshots, killing him.
The case was presented in November to a grand jury, which declined to charge Presley with murder. Instead he was indicted on charges of voluntary manslaughter and violating his oath as a police officer. In Georgia, voluntary manslaughter is punishable by one to 20 years in prison.