DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - It might be a few weeks before the decision to proceed or not with a trial against a former DeKalb County Police officer in the death of a United State Air Force veteran.
Defense attorney Don Samuel spent the two days making a case of self-defense for former DeKalb County Police Officer Robert Olsen. He wants to DeKalb Superior Court Judge JP Boulee to dismiss the murder and other felony charges against Olsen. He told the judge the officer feared for his life when he shot and killed Air Force veteran Anthony Hill.
"He pulled a gun out to stop him. He didn't pull the gun out to kill him. Mr. Hill kept running towards him and he yelled ‘stop, stop!’ And he'll just kept running toward him. He wasn't chasing Mr. Hill. He didn't shoot him in the back or anything like what you see in these horrible cases these days," said defense attorney Don Samuel.
Hill was naked and unarmed in March 2015 when Olsen responded to a 911 call about a man behaving erratically in the parking lot of apartment complex near Chamblee. Prosecutors say the veteran suffered from bipolar disorder and PTSD. They say Olsen shot Hill within a matter of seconds of arriving on the scene and failed to better assess the situation before using deadly force.
"That is not the law. This can't be where we are right now. They can't just say stop and then start shooting. What if the person is a 17-year-old autistic person? What if the person is deaf and doesn't hear you? What if the person is a veteran who is mentally ill and identifies with people in uniforms as someone who can help them?" DeKalb County prosecutor Lance cross argued Tuesday.
The Hill Family came to Georgia thinking the murder trial would begin this week, but judge belay said he may not rule for another two to three weeks.
"I just want him (the judge) to know the truth and when he sees and hears the truth, that will be all that matters," said Hill's mother.
The Hill's attorney said video of the deadly 2015 encounter speaks for itself.
"The video contradicts everything the officer said. He said Anthony Hill had his hands up and was swinging towards him, but all of the witnesses said his hand we're back here (behind his back.) He was at ease. This is nothing more than a calculated assassination," said attorney Chris Chestnut.
"I reached for my pistol and pointed it at him. I started back peddling as fast as I could, then yelled, 'Stop, stop!'" Olson told the court on Monday.
The case had gained national attention because Hill was unarmed and naked. Many critics have said Olson should have de-escalated the situation.
Olson told his attorney under oath during an immunity hearing Monday that Hill attacked him, by running towards him with lunged hands.
"How close were you when you shot him?" asked attorney Don Samuel.
Olson replied, "3 to 5 feet, his blood splatter ended up on the officer’s shoes.
Hill’s family was in the courtroom, as the former officer said after the shooting, he went straight to his patrol car to get his first aid kit.
Attorney Samuel concluded his questioning by asking about the former officer's fear.
“Were you acting on instinct?”
“Did you fear for your safety?”
Critics are closing following the proceedings.
"Our brother, our veteran Anthony Hill should have never been shot and killed," Organizer Gerald Griggs said.
Police said Hill, who suffered from mental illness, was naked and acting erratically outside a DeKalb County apartment when Officer Olsen opened fired. Through the investigation, police revealed Hill was never armed.
"Police accountability starts here and it starts with this case," Griggs said.
Sunday, more than a dozen protestors stood outside the DeKalb County Courthouse to demand justice for Hill.
Protestors told FOX 5 they gathered on Sunday to call attention to a motions hearing.
"There is an immunity hearing, and the defense is going to try to get the case dismissed based on self-defense, so we want to make sure we have the courtroom packed when the judge makes the decision on whether or not to move forward with the trial," Griggs said.
If the judge denies the immunity motion, jury selection is expected to begin.
"We want Anthony's family to know that we are here and we are fighting for him," Griggs said
The immunity hearing before Judge J.P. Boulee resumed Tuesday.