CAIRO — Prosecutors are likely to wait until after Thanksgiving to determine how they wish to proceed with the case of a Whigham man accused of attempting to run down a police officer with a vehicle before being shot.
South Georgia District Attorney Joe Mulholland said he will decide "within the next week or two" whether to allow a grand jury to review the case of David Kennedy, who was shot multiple times by a Grady County Sheriff's Office deputy in September following an attempt at a traffic stop, or if he should take prosecutorial action on his own.
Grand juries in Georgia can provide guidance for prosecutors in cases involving the use of deadly force by peace officers through a process called civil inspection. In Kennedy's case "it's a little more clear cut because we have it on video," Mulholland said.
The case likely would be reviewed by the December grand jury if Mulholland decides to pursue that path.
Kennedy faces charges of fleeing a police officer for a felony offense, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony for the September 29 incident.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Kennedy, 42, began accelerating toward Deputy Kenneth Weston following an attempt at a traffic stop for a broken tag light when the officer opened fire.
According to the Grady County Sheriff's Office, Weston attempted to pull over Kennedy when the Whigham resident began accelerating in an attempt to get away. A subsequent pursuit then led into the Branchville Road area of Mitchell County.
The sheriff's office incident report does not contain information pertaining to the shooting itself, which occurred in Mitchell County.
GBI says both vehicles came to a stop at some point during the pursuit, and Weston attempted to use a stun gun on Kennedy to make an arrest. According to GBI, Kennedy then accelerated toward Weston, who fired his weapon an undisclosed number of times.
The pursuit then recommenced to the intersection of State Highway 97 and Mt. Olive Road, where deputies from Mitchell and Decatur counties had arrived to assist in the chase. It was discovered there that Kennedy had been struck by gunfire. GBI did not say how the pursuit came to an end.
Kennedy was administered first aid and then transported to a local hospital for additional treatment.
A pistol that was later determined to have been stolen from Grady County was recovered at the scene.