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Zechariah Presley's fate in jurors' hands after closing statements

Deliberations scheduled to resume Saturday morning

WOODBINE, Ga. – A Camden County jury charged with deciding if a former Kingsland police officer committed a crime when he shot and killed an unarmed motorist after a traffic stop in June 2018 postponed deliberations after a long day in court Friday.

Zechariah Presley is accused of shooting and killing Tony Green after a confrontation. Presley was indicted by a Camden County grand jury on charges including voluntary manslaughter and fired from the Kingsland Police Department.

Deliberations were scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Saturday. Jurors adjourned around 8 p.m. Friday.

"The jury is putting the time in and making sure whatever their decision is that they get it right," said Wayne Anderson, Green's father. "We're tired, yes. We're frustrated, yes. But we're going to hangout. We've waited for justice this long, and we'll continue to wait."

"We're expecting justice tomorrow (Saturday)," said Malik Shabazz, civil attorney for the Green family. "We are anticipating a verdict in our favor and a verdict of guilty for Zechariah Presley."

After hearing two days of testimony, the jury asked to re-watch body camera video of the incident twice during deliberations that began Thursday afternoon.

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Anderson says he thinks about his son every day.

"The first six months were just up and down. It was topsy-turvy. I would go by the scene ... just going through and trying to imagine what happened," Anderson said. "I would go by the scene sometimes three or four times a day."

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation concluded Green was running away when Presley opened fire. Anderson watched the body cam and dash cam video in court.

"A picture can be a thousand words. It just depends whose eyes are looking at it," Anderson said.

Anderson believes the defense team has spent the week attempting to make Green look like a bad guy, but he says his son is not that and didn't deserve to die.

Prosecutors contend Presley had the opportunity to tell investigators that he thought he saw Green with a gun -- but Presley didn't do that.

“He made a fatal mistake and it was a mistake that cost a man his life,” prosecutor Rocky Bridges said of Presley. “You don’t have to like Tony Green. ...He ran from the police, not a good decision. But he was not armed. He did not turn on officer Presley. He did not deserve to die.”

Defense attorney Adrienne Browning accused investigators of spending hours examining the video and picking the most damaging parts to second guess Presley’s split-second decision to open fire. She blamed Green for deciding to fight Presley after a foot chase rather than just running away.

“Tony Green was not shot because of misdemeanor offenses,” Browning said. “He was shot because of bad decision after bad decision until the threat was overwhelming and Zech feared for his life.”

Green's father, Wayne Anderson, said the family is in no rush to hear a verdict, and they want jurors to take as much time as they need.

“You want a verdict, but at the same time, you don’t want to rush a verdict either so, we can endure and wait and let the jury go through their deliberations and do what they have to do as the jury," Anderson said.

Green's family and defense attorneys plan to speak after the verdict.

Presley is facing three charges: voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and violation of oath. Under Georgia law, voluntary manslaughter is punishable by one to 20 years in prison.


About the Authors:

Jenese Harris

Reporter, weekend anchor and movie reviewer.

Ashley Harding

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.