The people have spoken

Use of deadly force justified in the shooting of Jonathan Ayers according to grand jury.

The Stephens County grand jury has ruled that the use of deadly force by Mountain Judicial Circuit NCIS agents in the death of Lavonia pastor Rev. Jonathan Ayers was legally justified.

In the grand jury ruling regarding the general presentment of the Ayers investigation that was released Friday afternoon, the grand jury further states that the officers involved in the shooting would be immune from criminal prosecution based on the facts presented.

According to the official court documents released Friday, the grand jury was asked to determine whether the investigation conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was thorough, comprehensive, independent, and fair. If the investigation was complete, the grand jury was asked to consider whether the actions were legally justified.

The grand jury states that they have found the investigation to be complete, thorough, unbiased, and well-presented. Furthermore, the ruling identifies the agent that shot Ayers as Billy Shane Harrison.

The grand jury then states “the use of deadly force by Agent Billy Shane Harrison was legally justified based upon his objectively reasonable belief that such use of force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or others.”

The grand jury than goes on to say that “based upon this finding, the Grand Jury believes that the officers involved in this incident would be immune from criminal prosecution.”

Rev. Ayers’ widow’s attorney, Roland Stroberg from Gainesville, said the family is not pleased.

“We have been informed of the recent action of the Stephens County Grand Jury and Abby Ayers and her family are extremely disappointed,” said Stroberg. “We are in the process of doing everything possible to gather all of the facts, surrounding this terrible incident and present these facts in a court of law in public, as opposed to behind closed doors. Once all the facts are available for public view, we feel it will be abundantly clear there was no legal justification for the undercover drug agent to shoot and kill Jonathan Ayers in broad daylight on the streets of Toccoa, Georgia. That is our position. We are in the process of getting all of our ducks in a row to get the matter out where it can be decided in a court of law.”

The full GBI report should be released Monday. Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brian Rickman said he would comment Monday on the matter.

So I think from here the widow can sue the shooter but about the most she can hope to get is the gun that was used to kill her unborn childs father.

So there’s that.

6 comments to The people have spoken

  • Smijer

    I am saddened but not suprised

  • Anybody who is surprised just has not been paying very much attention. What saddens me most is that the widow will continue to pursue this and it is going to lead to the same stone wall no matter what course she takes.

    Her best bet is to prepare to try and raise her child alone.

    Merry Georgia Christmas indeed.

  • CC

    I was bummed out by this, but not especially surprised. Hell, in DC, the Assistant Chief lied to the Washington Post this week in defending one of their own and even the Post doesn’t seem to mind. Like in this case, there was video footage showing that the officers were lying.

    If there’s an officer in trouble, the police will say anything to have his back, whether or not it’s true.


  • Well the girl in the case is now claiming that Ayers had paid her for sex for years. Of course originally she said that he was just a friend and was ministering to her.

    Most of the folks I talk to around here take the position that Ayers pretty much got what was coming to him. birds of a feather, lay down with dogs you get fleas and that kind of thing.

    After all, doesn’t hanging out with publicans and sinners normally get you crucified?

    What is most fascinating to me is that the conversation was never about the trigger happy police officer. It has always been about the secret life of Jonathan Ayers.

    But the man who shot him should never, ever be able to use a gun in the performance of his duties again. I don’t think that is too much to ask.

  • ben

    Yeah Buck,I said that my folks always told me if you lay with dogs, you will get up with fleas,that was before the GBI report came out,I knew nothing that was in the report now it seems more true than not,the phone records show more than anything else to me,but he still did not deserve to be shot and all involved should not be allowed to work undercover anymore.

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