Deputy facing criminal charges after courthouse shooting

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A Clayton County deputy is free on bond after turning himself in on criminal charges over a shooting at the County Courthouse annex almost two years ago.

A Clayton County Grand jury indicted Deputy Albert Thomas Lewis on charges of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated battery, and violation of oath by a public officer.

Jail records show Lewis turned himself in at the Clayton County Jail on Tuesday and posted bond a short time later.

MORE: Man shot by deputy at Clayton County courthouse annex

A lawyer from the prosecuting attorneys' council presented the case to the grand jury May 23.

The charges are in connection with a December 2016 incident at the Clayton County Courthouse annex, where Deputy Lewis shot 27-year-old Benarvis Johnson.

Johnson, who was unarmed at the shooting, had come to the annex building for a child support hearing.

He was later charged with felony obstruction and disorderly conduct. Neither of those charges have been indicted.

Johnson's criminal attorney Gerald Griggs tells FOX 5 he expects those charges to be dropped.

"It is my understanding that in order for him to testify in this case against the officer, he either has to have immunity or the charges must be dismissed," Griggs remarked. 

After the shooting, an eyewitness shared with FOX 5 cellphone video of the confrontation.

The video shows the deputy ushering Johnson into a hallway after Jonesboro police say Johnson would not get off his tablet in court.

“It was all unnecessary. It could have been avoided if the officer didn't bring himself down to the level of the suspect,” witness Alfred King told FOX 5’s Aungelique Proctor at the time

Lenorris Johnson, the wounded man’s father, rushed to the annex building to check on his son that day.

At the time, he said, “They got officers they can take him down. You don't have to shoot nobody with no gun in a courtroom.

After the shooting you can hear the younger Johnson on the cellphone video saying, "you shot me, you shot me."

Lewis is scheduled to appear before a Clayton County judge for a June 8 pleas and motions hearing, and a June 19 arraignment.