Montgomery police officer seeks immunity from prosecution in Gunn death case

Montgomery police officer seeks immunity from prosecution in Gunn death case
Judge Greg Griffin (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Judge Greg Griffin (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Montgomery police officer A.C. Smith has submitted a motion for immunity from prosecution and has requested an evidentiary hearing because he was acting in his official capacity and in self-defense during the fatal shooting of 59-year-old Gregory Gunn.

The motion also states that by using this defense, the court must conduct a pretrial hearing to determine whether force was justified. Under Alabama's 'Stand Your Ground' law, if force is justified, Smith would be immune from prosecution.

Gunn died in the early Thursday morning hours of Feb. 25, 2016, in the 3200 block of McElvy Street.

The news Smith will seek immunity comes amid news the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has denied an appeal to force Judge Greg Griffin to recuse himself from presiding over Smith's upcoming murder trial. The defense immediately made clear it will appeal the decision to the Alabama Supreme Court.

Griffin, the fourth judge to preside over the case, was assigned Smith's case in late March. Smith's attorneys filed a motion seeking his recusal in May citing Facebook posts the judge made not long after their client was charged with murder.

The posts dealt with the judge discussing being stopped by Montgomery police officers during a morning walk and a subsequent meeting to discuss the incident with the top brass at MPD.

Griffin declined to recuse stating that, "I can take this black robe off, but I can't take this black skin off. This troubles me. Y'all put race in it."

The judge also declined to allow a change of venue away from Montgomery and set a trial date for October.

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