Coroner: Slain Birmingham police officer was 'legally drunk' the night of his death
By Ben Culpepper
?JEFFERSON COUNTY, Alabama -- A preliminary hearing for the man accused of fatally shooting an off-duty Birmingham police officer was held Tuesday morning, and new details related to the events leading up to the incident emerged in court. Legal counsel for the defendant -- 40-year-old Patrick Johnson -- presented evidence from the coroner and surveillance video revealing that the slain officer -- 35-year-old Keary Hollis -- was legally drunk at the time of his death and had left the scene of an accident just prior to the shooting. According to testimony, the video captured an altercation between Hollis and Johnson and the victim backing into the suspect's motorcycle with his vehicle before driving off. Prosecutors argued that even if Hollis did leave the scene of an accident, it should not be seen as justification for his shooting death. A request by Johnson's attorney for bond was denied by the judge, who described the suspect as "out of control" the night of the incident before turning the case over to a grand jury, telling prosecutors and the defense that he wanted a trial to commence within a year. ABC 33/40 reporter Marissa Mitchell will have a full report on this story on Focus@4 and the news at 5 and 6 p.m. To watch the newscasts live online, click here.
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ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Alabama offers news, sports, and weather reporting for the surrounding communities including Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Cullman, Gadsden, Talladega, Sylacauga, Carbon Hill, Jasper, Hoover, Bessemer, Vestavia Hills, Alabaster, Trussville and Homewood.