Convicted Athens cop killer sentenced to life in prison

The Clarke County Courthouse in Athens, Ga. ("County Courthouse and Judicial Center in Athens" by Michael Rivera - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

Jamie Hood has been sentenced to life in prison without the opportunity for parole, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.

Hood faced the possibility of a death sentence for the shooting death of Athens-Clarke County Police Officer Police Officer Elmer “Buddy” Christian. He was also convicted of shooting and wounding a second officer, Tony Howard.

“Buddy committed his life to the mission of our justice system and he received justice from that for which he sacrifices his life,” the newspaper quoted Melissa Christian-Griffeth, Christian’s widow, as saying in a statement. “Our hope is that Buddy’s sacrifice will never be forgotten and his legacy of love, compassion and generosity will forever be remembered.”

Hood admitted to shooting Christian, but says he fired in self-defense and did not intend to kill the officer, according to media reports. Hood testified he shot after hearing the voice of his brother, who was killed years earlier by police, according to reports.

“I hated killing the man,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Hood as saying of Christian. “I been telling (people) for years I didn’t mean to do it.”

Following the shootings of Howard and Christian, Hood took several people hostage. Authorities eventually went on television to assure Hood he wouldn’t be harmed if he surrendered, which he did four days after the shootings.

A jury also convicted Hood in the December 2010 murder of friend Kenneth Omari Wray.

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Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits The Travel Trolley and