Officers acquitted on all charges in Tommie McGlothen’s Jr.’s death
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The officers charged in the death of Tommie McGlothen Jr. have been acquitted in all charges.
The trial was a bench trial, not a jury trial.
On the evening of Thursday, June 16, prosecutors rested their case after calling 28 witnesses to testify in addition to introducing into evidence several videos capturing the struggle between the four officers and McGlothen.
Just after 9 a.m. on Friday, June 17, Judge Chris Victory agreed with the officers’ lawyers — ruling the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office failed to present evidence that could sustain a conviction, granting the defense’s motion to acquit.
Legally, the ruling means the officers are not guilty of the two crimes charged: negligent homicide and malfeasance in office.
With this acquittal, the officers will be allowed back on the job as patrol officers for SPD. No word yet from Chief Wayne Smith on when the officers will be back on the job — if they chose to return to the department following what their lawyers call a tragedy of a case for both the McGlothen family and the officers.
For four days, prosecutors struggled to establish the officers caused McGlothen’s death.
Three medical officials including an ER physician treating McGlothen the night he died, the pathologist conducting his autopsy and Caddo Corner Todd Thoma — all testified could not say with any medical certainty - that the officer’s blows, pepper pray or tazing lead to his death. That’s why the coroner never ruled his death a homicide.
In fact - it came out at trial - the D.A.’s office had to take the case before a grand jury twice before getting indictments against the officers.
Both Louisiana State Police and the Department of Justice declined to refer the case for criminal prosecution.
After Judge Victory dismissed the charges against all four defendants — Brian Ross, James LeClaire, Treona McCarter and D’Marea Johnson — we tried talking to the lead prosecutors in the case.
KSLA reached out to District Attorney James Stewart and asked for an interview about today’s decision. A spokesperson for the D.A.’s office said Stewart had no comment and wasn’t doing interviews at this time.
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