Ebert said his decision was based on Frederick’s age and lack of a criminal record. Ebert noted that Shivers was hit by only one shot, which he said would not constitute the “aggravated battery” needed in a death penalty case.
I found this part especially interesting:
He said there has been much speculation about the case and that the public will be surprised by the facts when they come out during the trial.
I sincerely hope that’s true.
I, however, have my doubts. In order for me to be satisfied that the Chesapeake Police and the judicial system are justified in these actions, the evidence will have to show that:
1. The Police had more to go on than just the word of a single “Confidential Informant” with a history of animosity toward the defendant before deciding to break down the door of a citizen with no prior criminal history who is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
2. The Police knocked on the door of the suspect and gave him ample opportunity to respond to that knock and peacefully allow service of the warrant before arbitrarily assaulting his home and breaking down the door.
3. The suspect was actually a hardened criminal and large scale Marijuana grower as the search warrant suggested, not just a recreational pot user who happened to be a gardening hobbyist who likes Japanese Maples.
4. The suspect knew beyond doubt that the people breaking down his door were Police, was lying in wait for them and, as the hardened criminal demonstrated in point 3, fully intended to kill a police officer when he pulled the trigger.
Those are the major elements that, in my mind, MUST be proven in order to justify the initial assault and the charges that were subsequently sought.
Prosecutor Ebert is right in that I will be VERY surprised if the evidence that comes out at trial supports the above in complete contradiction with all the information so far presented.