Grand jury charges ex-Kingsland cop with voluntary manslaughter

Zechariah Presley arrested after Tony Green was killed after traffic stop

By Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor, Frank Powers - Assignment manager

WOODBINE, Ga. - A former Kingsland police officer who shot and killed a 33-year-old man who ran from a traffic stop was indicted last week on charges of voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter and violation of his oath of office.

Zechariah Presley was arrested after the June 20 shooting death of Tony Green. He was in jail about a month after surrendering to authorities, then allowed to post bond after his pastor testified that Presley is not a flight risk and poses no threat to the community.

Judge J. Alexander Atwood set several special conditions on Presley's release requested by Green's attorneys, including that Presley have no contact with Green's family, surrender his passport, cannot have a firearm or ammunition, cannot consume alcohol or illegal drugs and be under curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.

DOCUMENT: State of Georgia vs. Zechariah Presley

Presley was fired by the Kingsland Police Department. Why he pulled Green over and other details have not been released.

Green's loved ones have held regular protests outside the Camden County Courthouse. They were planning to attend Monday night's meeting of the Kingsland City Council to ask why Presley was ever hired and to consider a citizens' committee to increase police accountability in the city.

Green's pastor, Mack Knight, said the family is angry and upset, and that frustration is spilling out into the community.

"There has always been a racial tension, but ... I believe it is at an all-time high. I believe everybody is sensitive and emotional," Knight said.

Over the summer, more than 1,00 people have signed a petition for Presley's manslaughter charge to be upgraded to murder. Late last week, the Camden County District Attorney's Office said it will present evidence in the case to the grand jury to determine if additional charges are warranted.

The Camden County grand jury was presented with an option to indict Presley with malice murder but only agreed to pursue manslaughter charges, both voluntary and involuntary.

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