Former police officer involved in the killing of a Black man in Montgomery to be released following plea agreement

Mocobizscene-  A former Montgomery Police Department officer who shot and killed resident Greg Gunn in 2016 will be released from prison today.

Attorney General Steve Marshall has successfully negotiated a plea deal with Aaron Cody Smith, the individual who was previously convicted of manslaughter in this particular case. Smith has made the decision to change his plea to guilty, and as a result, he will be released from prison based on the amount of time he has already served. This information was confirmed in a statement provided by Marshall.

According to William Boyd, a community activist and friend of the Gunn family, justice has not been served.

“The state has undone justice today,” Boyd lamented. “It is yet another sorrowful day where the value of Black lives continues to be disregarded.”

In a recent development, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the conviction and 14-year sentence of A.C. Smith. This decision is being celebrated as a triumph of justice by many.

“I am pleased to hear that this convicted murderer has finally admitted to intentionally taking the life of Greg Gunn,” Bailey expressed in a statement. “Had he done so back in 2016, it would have saved us a significant amount of time and resources. However, I am deeply disappointed that he is being granted an early release, a privilege that is rarely extended to other individuals convicted of such heinous crimes.”

According to his statement, Marshall took the case in 2020. Marshall stated that despite his personal doubts about the strength of the case against Mr. Smith, his office was able to defend the conviction successfully as required by law.

Afterwards, the case went to the Alabama Supreme Court and eventually returned to the trial court the following year.

In a statement, Marshall expressed his firm belief that Mr. Smith deserved a new trial. However, after closely observing the lengthy legal proceedings for eight years, he decided to end the case. According to Marshall, Mr. Smith had pleaded guilty to the crime he was convicted of, to be reunited with his family. Marshall considers this outcome to be both fair and fitting.

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