DA speaks on decision to seek death penalty against alleged killer of Officer Kevin Jordan

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

Michael Bowman, the Griffin man who stands accused in the shooting death of Griffin Police Department Officer Kevin Jordan, will face the death penalty when he stands trial.
Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard and Spalding County Senior Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Schwartz on Friday filed notice of intent to seek the death penalty in the case.
“I feel like we’re doing the right thing in this case by giving the jury the option of applying the death penalty,” Ballard said.
A grand jury on Wednesday handed down a 12-count indictment including the following charges:
Count one – malice murder, alleges Bowman caused Jordan’s death by maliciously shooting him in the back with a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol;
Count two – felony murder, alleges Bowman caused Jordan’s death in the course of committing the felony crime of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer;
Count three – a second charge of felony murder, alleges Bowman caused Jordan’s death in the course of committing felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer;
Count four – aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer;
Count five – felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer, alleges Bowman obstructed Jordan’s official performance of his duties by offering and doing violence to his person;
Count six – aggravated assault on Raymond Jordan, the officer’s brother, by pointing and firing the same .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol that took Kevin Jordan’s life;
Counts seven through 12 – possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Each of these six counts is individually paired, so to speak, with one of the first six felony charges.
Ballard explain the making the determination to seek the death penalty is a process that involves multiple phases.
“I want to make sure people know I’m not interested in executing an innocent person. I’ll go to any length to ensure we don’t,” Ballard said. “The first thing, of course, is to learn as much as possible about the case, so you have to wait for the investigative process to move forward and for certain forensic and test results to be returned. Then you have to look at the statute. You have to be able to prove one of the state’s mitigating circumstances is present. In this case, we believe three mitigating circumstances are present. Then we have to step back and look at the case – do we have a likelihood that a jury will impose and will the appellate system uphold the imposition of the death penalty? If we do, then we want to give the jury the option of imposing a sentence of death.
Ballard said he believes the case against Bowman indicates three mitigating factors make the death penalty an appropriate inclusion.
“He (Bowman) killed a police officer in a manner that caused grave danger to others that were present; he killed a police officer in the lawful performance of his duties; and he killed a police officer for the purpose of preventing a lawful arrest,” Ballard said.
Chantell Mixon, who is also faces multiple charges, including felony murder, in relation to Jordan’s death, will not face the death penalty. If convicted of felony murder, the maximum sentence she faces is life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

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