Update: D.A.'s office makes announcement about Rouse's accused killer
Updated: Wednesday, May 4 at 10:45 p.m.
The alleged murder of Dougherty County police officer Lt. Cliff Rouse went before grand jury on Wednesday. Dontravius Thomas, 20, was indicted on nine counts: Malice murder, two counts of felony murder, aggravated assault on a peace officer, armed robbery, theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm by convicted felon and two counts of possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.
"The issue is whether a crime has been committed and whether the person presented might possibly be involved in the crime. They (grand jury) don't ultimately decide the guilt or innocence, but whether it a matter that should go on for full review by a jury and judge," says District Attorney Greg Edwards.
The state also filed an official notice of intent to seek the death penalty.
Edwards says indictments by a grand jury are just the first step in this case, which could take months before it goes to trial.
"It would not be unreasonable to expect that this case could take at least six to nine months before we're in the posture that we're ready to go to trial," says Edwards.
Lindy Delgado of Albany says Dougherty County police officer Lt. Cliff Rouse was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back.
"I just knew him by the store when he came in, but he was a really sweet guy, always outgoing," Delgado says.
When it comes to the future Rouse's alleged murder, her answer is simple.
"He needs to be hung. Why? Because he took a human beings life, he doesn't deserve to live and why keep paying all the taxpayers money for him to sit in jail," she says.
When Thomas' case does reach trial, Edwards says the state wants the punishment to be given in the fullest extent.
"Police officers lay their lives on the line and we wanted to make sure that in this instance because this officer has laid his life on the line that the full measure of the law might be applied by the jury that reviews this case," says Edwards.
Rouse was killed while responding to an armed robbery on Christmas Eve of 2010.Original Story
The Dougherty County District Attorney's Office is holding a press conference Wednesday afternoon regarding Dontravius Thomas, 20, the man accused of killing Lt. Cliff Rouse on Dec. 24.
FOX 31 News will bring you updates as they are made available.
In February, FOX 31 reported that D.A. Greg Edwards says he wants to seek the death penalty for Thomas. As of that time, no trial date had been set.
Rouse was responding to an armed robbery in December at the Pitt Stop Convenience Store. Officials say they found Thomas a short time later hiding under a trailer in a nearby mobile home park and arrested.
Thomas is charged with felony murder, armed robbery and possession of a firearm during a crime.
Rouse was the first Dougherty County Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty.