ACWORTH, Ga. - A Cobb County Superior Court judge has dropped charges against a man indicted for murder more than two years after the incident at a local gas station.
Corbin Engler was originally accused of striking and killing a woman in January 2021. Surveillance video from this Valero gas station in Acworth on the night of Jan. 2, 2021, captured the exchange that he says changed the trajectory of his life.
That night, Engler recalled two men and a woman approaching the car he, his wife and 3-year-old son were sitting in.
"They come from behind the store and was threatening me, threatening to beat me up, beat my wife up, and I just told them ‘y’all just need to step away from my car, I don’t know y’all, I don’t know why you’re hollering at me’," he said in an interview with FOX 5
Engler said they accused him of child abuse, which his attorney Megan Grout believes was a misunderstanding as he was trying to strap their toddler back into his car seat.
"These individuals at the Valero made very wrong assumptions about what was going on," the criminal defense attorney stated.
Engler told FOX 5 when he tried to get away, the woman in the video, 27-year-old Katie Lambert, jumped in front of his car. Seconds later she was hit.
"At that point, I was so scared I didn’t know what was going to happen next, so the only thing I just knew was ‘go’," he explained.
"He tried to protect his family, he hadn’t done anything wrong, he never got out of the car, he tried to leave," Grout added.
Video helped a judge to dismiss charges against a man for striking and killing woman with his car on Jan 2, 2021. (Cobb County Superior Court)
Lambert was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition. She died earlier this year in February from injuries she sustained in the incident, which resulted in Engler’s aggravated assault charges being escalated to homicide.
"We knew that this case was a terrible mistake…these charges were a terrible mistake," Grout stated. "Those three people in concert tried to prevent him from leaving and a tragedy happened that never had to happen."
Grout said the gas station’s surveillance video ultimately helped Cobb County Superior Court Judge Gregory Poole decide Engler was not the aggressor and led him to grant Engler immunity. It was a moment he says he prayed would come almost every day for the last two years.
"I wake up every morning and I thank God you know…and I thank my lawyer for fighting so hard for me."
In response to the decision, the Cobb County DA’s office released a statement that reads:
"We are saddened by the tragic loss of Miss Kattie Lambert. We cannot condone the actions of Mr. Engler in her death but we respect the judge’s decision in granting immunity from prosecution. We have submitted a dismissal based on the judge’s ruling."