DECATUR, Ga. — An immunity hearing was set for Monday in the case of a former DeKalb County police officer who shot and killed an unarmed veteran.
Robert Olsen killed Anthony Hill in 2015, while responding to a call. Hill, an Air Force Veteran who had served in Afghanistan, was naked and unarmed when he was killed.
Hill's family said he was dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Pretrial motions were originally scheduled to start April 23, but were delayed until May 21.
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Olsen's lead defense attorney is Don Samuel, who was also counsel in the high-profile murder trial of Buckhead attorney Tex McIver.
"In Georgia, we have the right to raise our self-defense argument pretrial," Samuel said. "The theory is that if we have a viable self-defense claim, we should not even be forced to go to trial. So we will present our self-defense argument. If we win, the case is over, though the state can appeal. If we lose, we still can present self-defense to the jury."
Olsen is facing a six-count indictment in the shooting death of Anthony Hill: two counts of felony murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of making a false statement and two counts of violation of oath by a public officer.
On the stand Monday afternoon, Olsen described the types of non-lethal weapons he had at his disposal while he was working with the DeKalb County Police Department.
He said that he had several types of non-lethal weapons, including pepper spray, an ASP baton, and a Taser.
To use the pepper spray, Olsen said you would have to stand away from the person you were using it against and hopefully not spray yourself. The other point is to prevent an attacker from taking your sidearm in the process.
The second non-lethal weapon in an officer's arsenal is a baton. The type used by DeKalb County officers is called an ASP baton, with ASP being an actual brand name, Olsen said.
A baton is a telescoping impact weapon which extends to a length of 26 inches long when fully deployed.
It is designed for use on soft tissue, but could be lethal when used to strike an unprotected skull, he said. To use, an officer must step forward to have the proper positioning to strike out with the baton.
A Taser is holstered and clipped on an officer's belt. In order to properly use it, an officer must reach across his body and detach it from its holster, activate the Taser, aim it so that the twin probes are pointed toward the target and then fire it.
For an officer to be able to effectively use a Taser, he must maintain an appropriate distance in order for the probes to have an opportunity to spread out and hit the target, Olsen said.
Olsen was expected to continue his testimony through the afternoon.