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Ex-Officer Who Killed Veteran Convicted, but Not of Murder

Jury finds Robert Olsen guilty of lesser charges
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2019 5:20 PM CDT
Anthony Hill Sr. listens as the verdicts are read aloud Monday in Georgia.   (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)
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(Newser) – A Georgia jury has found a former police officer guilty of aggravated assault, making a false statement, and violation of oath of office in the killing of an unarmed, naked man who was mentally ill. But not of murder. Robert Olsen could receive up to 35 years in prison when he's sentenced Nov. 1, the Journal-Constitution reports. "He's now a convicted felon," the lead prosector said. "This jury has found he was responsible for the death ... and he lied to cover it up." Olsen, whose lawyer said he had never been accused of using excessive force before, is out on bond until sentencing. The former DeKalb County officer said in the trial that he'd acted in self-defense when he shot Anthony Hill, 26, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, in March 2015.

Police had received a call about someone "acting deranged, knocking on doors, and crawling around on the ground naked," the county's police chief had said, per CNN. Hill, who was black, charged Olsen, who is white, when he arrived, Cedric Alexander said: "The officer called him to stop while stepping backwards, drew his weapon and fired two shots." Hill had struggled with mental illness, his girlfriend said. He had had difficulty getting help through the Department of Veterans Affairs and went off his medication shortly before he was killed. At the time of the shooting, prosecutors said, Hill was having a mental health crisis partly involving post-traumatic stress disorder and was not a threat to Olsen, per NBC. The families of both men, as well as jurors, cried in the courtroom as the verdicts were read. (Read more police shooting stories.)

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