Attorney tried to stop grand jury hearing of former APD officer

Attorney tried to stop grand jury hearing

Defense attorneys attempted to postpone a grand jury hearing in the case of a former Atlanta Police officer charged with murder.

On Wednesday, it took a grand jury less than 20 minutes to indict former Atlanta Police Officer James Burns on numerous charges, including murder, in the death of Caine Rogers.

Rogers was shot and killed in his vehicle on Monroe Place June 22.

Before Wednesday’s hearing, Burns’ attorney Drew Findling filed a motion to postpone the grand jury hearing, arguing that jurors would be influenced by the attention that has surrounded the case.

The attorney highlighted what he called "lack of secrecy" and expected influence by outside sources. He went on to specifically mention a group of protesters who gathered outside the courthouse for 24 hours before and during the hearing.

PHOTOS | Caine Rogers March for Justice 

Findling wrote that because of the large turnout, jurors would "not be free of intense pressure" as they heard the evidence.

The district attorney filed a response the next day, but the hearing went on as planned. 

Other information 11Alive has learned about Wednesday's hearing: 

* Deliberations lasted less than 30 minutes. According to attorneys for the family of Rogers, the case went to the grand jury at 4 p.m. By 4:20 p.m. the officer's attorney said that Burns had been indicted. 

* Dashcam video was shown to the grand jury, according to Rogers' family attorneys. None of the family attorneys have seen that footage.

* The grand jury worked through lunch break.

The grand jury returned a true bill on the following counts against Burns: two violations of oath of office, aggravated assault, felony murder and false statement.

Findlng told 11Alive's Blayne Alexander that he will examine the possibility of challenging the indictment. 

PHOTOS | Caine Rogers killed by APD in midtown  

PHOTOS | Photos from the scene 


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