Published April 11, 2019
A judge has scheduled a fall trial for a former Georgia police officer charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a fleeing suspect, according to a court order filed Thursday.
Superior Court Judge Stephen Scarlett ordered that Zechariah Presley stand trial beginning Sept. 30 in coastal Camden County near the Georgia-Florida state line.
Presley was on duty as a Kingsland police officer June 20 when 33-year-old Tony Green was shot and killed. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation concluded the two men had a brief struggle before Presley shot Green multiple times as Green tried to run away.
Presley was fired from his police job. His defense attorney, Adrienne Browning, said at a hearing Monday the former officer is now driving a delivery truck while he awaits trial. He was released from jail on a $100,000 bond in July.
A grand jury in November indicted Presley on charges of voluntary manslaughter and violating his oath as a police officer, but declined to charge the former officer with murder. Some of Green's relatives and friends have argued manslaughter is too lenient of a charge.
Under Georgia law, voluntary manslaughter is a felony punishable by one to 20 years in prison.
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 scuffle, the agency said, before Green began to flee again and Presley fired multiple gunshots, killing him.
The judge granted the September trial date after prosecutors and Presley's defense attorney requested it at a hearing Monday. Scarlett also agreed to scale back the 12-hour curfew Presley must abide by as a condition of his bond, shrinking it to just seven overnight hours on weekdays.
Browning asked for the reduction, saying the curfew had made it difficult for Presley to work enough hours to support his family.