DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Jury selection began Monday morning in the case of a former DeKalb County police officer charged with killing an unarmed naked veteran in 2015.
Robert Olsen's attorneys rejected a plea offer from prosecutors of 20 years with 15 to serve and the balance on probation for the murder of Anthony Hill.
On Monday morning, Judge LaTisha Dear Jackson ruled on several motions that were brought before the court last week.
Most importantly, she said that she would allow testimony on a limited scope during the trial regarding Hill's mental health issues, including his diagnosis, that he was medically retired from the U.S. Air Force and was prescribed medication, but was off of that medication at the time of his death.
Both of those facts are items that prosecutors wanted to be allowed into evidence during the trial.
Potential jurors filled out questionnaires on Monday morning and were starting to be brought forward in 14 person panels for individual questioning. The first panel took up the entire morning session. A second and possibly a third panel may be questioned during the afternoon session.
Olsen has pleaded not guilty to six charges, including two counts of felony murder in the case. The former police officer claims that he had acted in self-defense when he responded to a call on March 9, 2015, about a suspicious man in the parking lot of The Heights apartment complex.
By the time Olsen arrived at the complex, Hill had removed all of his clothes and was wandering naked around the parking area of the complex. Olsen says that Hill rushed at him. He claims that he was in fear for his life when he shot Hill twice.
At the time, Olsen was equipped with a gun, Taser, pepper spray and a baton. The officer only used the gun and shot Hill twice.
In addition to the felony murder charges, Olsen faces one count of aggravated assault, one count of making a false statement and two counts of violation of oath by a public officer.
Prior to the beginning of the trial, three other judges recused themselves from the trial.
Hill's family has previously filed a civil rights lawsuit against DeKalb County and against Olsen personally. Their suit claims that officials failed to provide adequate training for interacting with mentally ill people.
A federal judge has recently dismissed claims against the county, however, the claims remain in place against Olsen.
PHOTOS | Anthony Hill
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