Former officer accused of killing naked, unarmed veteran rejects plea deal

Credit: Dekalb County Police and Family Photo

Credit: Dekalb County Police and Family Photo

There is a major new development in the case against a former Georgia police officer accused of shooting an unarmed war veteran.

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There was a hearing Friday for former DeKalb police officer Robert Olsen, who shot and killed war veteran Anthony Hill in 2015.

Hill was naked and unarmed in his apartment parking lot when he came toward Olsen.

Prosecutors said the 27-year-old was having a mental health emergency. They said he was unarmed and naked at the time and never acted aggressively toward the officer or anyone at the apartment complex where the shooting happened.

Hill was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after his deployment to Afghanistan, but had stopped taking his medication.

Defense attorneys, however, said Hill aggressively charged the officer and ignored commands to stop.

On Friday, we learned the prosecution offered Olsen a plea deal, but the defense rejected it.

"The state had made an offer to the defense of 20 years, to serve 15 years with the balance on probation, and that was rejected by the defense," DeKalb County Chief Assistant District Attorney Pete Johnson said.

Now, Olsen faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

Olsen said he shot Hill because he felt threatened, but the shooting caused community outrage and frustration that the case has taken so long to go to trial.

Part of the reason is the first judge recused himself two weeks before the original trial was supposed to start. Activists protested the delay at a rally in March.

"This family does not deserve that. Anthony Hill didn't die on foreign soil. Sergeant Hill was murdered here in the United States. It's been four years, four years," Justice for Veterans president Amos King said.

The defense argued on Friday that the jury should not hear about Hill's mental history. The judge is considering the request.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday.

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