Fulton DA tries trooper even after guilty plea

11:35 PM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- A former state trooper involved in a deadly accident plead guilty on Monday to vehicular homicide and reckless driving.  But a jury has been selected to hear the third count in Donald Crozier's indictment, violating his oath of office.

"He didn't accidentally speed down Memorial Drive going 65 in a 25 mile per hour zone. He didn't accidentally run through a red light without even bothering to break," said a representative of the DA's office.

On New Year's Eve, 2011, Crozier was responding to another officer's call for help, when he ran the red light at Memorial Drive and Capital Avenue, killing Kathy Porter.

Crozier had hoped his guilty plea on the first two counts would bring closure to the case.

But citing three other at fault accidents on Crozier's record, the DA's office decided to continue with the case.

with those words, Porter's family would have closure. But the DA's office wasn't satisfied. 

Crozier's attorney questioned how the two related and told the judge he had the records of mmore than two dozen Georgia  troopers with similar driving records, still on the job.

"At least 10 that have worse at fault driving records and none of them are charged with violating their oath," said lead defense attorney Michael Hawkins.

Hawkins said the New Year's Eve accident shouldn't discredit Crozier's years of service.  Judge Schwall, while expressing his frustration with the prosecutors insistence on continuing the case, agreed to let a jury decide.

"This case has just been ravaging at my soul. It's really the toughest decision I've had to make in my whole life," said Schwall.

Kathy's husband, Atlanta Braves head trainer Jeff Porter, was in court for it all.  He didn't want to comment on the proceedings, but is expected to be called to tesify, as is his son, who was all in the car during the crash.

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