Updated:ATLANTA — A judge has granted Atlanta Police officer immunity from prosecution in a murder trial, Channel 2 Action News investigative reporter Mark Winne has learned.
Former officer Ray Bunn shot Cory Ward on July 14, 2002. Bunn has said he feared for his life when he shot and killed Ward, who was behind the wheel of an SUV. He was indicted in 2005.
Web Extra: Reaction To Judge's Ruling
In a new order, Fulton Superior Court Judge Henry Newkirk ruled that Bunn fired his weapon in self-defense and was justified in doing so. Newkirk said Bunn "reasonably would have held the perception that the driver of the vehicle would not stop, and that he posed an imminent threat to his life and physical well-being. The only effective means the Defendant had to attempt to stop or pre-empt the danger was his weapon."
When Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne reached Bunn by phone, he asked him his reaction the instant he heard about the order. "Numb," Bunn said. "I was numb.
Ray Bunn IM Ray Bunn
"The air seems a little fresher, I guess," Bunn said. "I expected this, certainly hoped for it."
Asked his reaction should the prosecution appeal, Bunn replied, "It doesn't matter to me. They can if that's their legal right."
He added: "I presume the Ward family was given false and misleading facts of the case and it's reprehensible that they have to also be forced to go through this grief again. And it was totally unnecessary
Civil rights leader Reverend Markel Hutchins, the family of Corey Ward and the other young African American men that were riding with Corey Ward when the then 18-year-old was killed in July of 2002 by then Atlanta Police Officer Raymond Bunn will address the media about the decision of the Fulton County Superior Court, announced yesterday, to dismiss charges in the murder trial of the embattled former officer that killed Ward in a controversial Buckhead area shooting nearly 8 years ago.