• Woman Accused Of Shooting Taxi Driver To Be Released

    Updated:
    SMYRNA, Ga. - A woman accused of shooting a cabdriver and leaving him partially paralyzed is about to be set free.

    That's after an appeals court decided prosecutors failed to take Karan Butler's case to court in a timely manner.

    "She's been in custody for over 1,000 days," said Butler's attorney, Sparticus Heyward.

    Butler has been in the Cobb County Jail for 1,391 days.

    When the Appeals Court of Georgia ruled that prosecutors violated her right to a speedy trial, Heyward went to the jail to give his client the news.

    "She said, 'There is a God.' She did say there is a God. She was ecstatic," Heyward said.

    The appeals court ordered aggravated assault, aggravated battery, firearm during the commission of a crime charges against Butler be dismissed.

    Smyrna police said Butler shot a Mayo Taxi cabdriver in 2007 during an attempted armed robbery at the Belmont Crossing apartments in Smyrna. The cabdriver lost the use of one of his arms.

    Butler then sat in jail for nearly three years without the case going to trial.

    She wrote several letters proclaiming her innocence and asking why she hadn't been tried before a jury.

    "(She) would notify the DA, send letters to the judge, attorneys everyone ... requesting a trial. For some reason, it just didn't happen," Heyward told Channel 2's Tom Jones.

    Butler had several attorneys prior to Heyward joining the case last year. Heyward then filed a motion asserting prosecutors violated Butler's right to a speedy trial. The appeals court agreed.

    Cobb County District Attorney Pat Head said the 32-month delay in getting the case to trial was, in part, a result of Butler making it difficult for his office to find a crucial witness. Head said he will ask the appeals court to reconsider its decision. Heyward said an uncooperative witness is no reason to delay a case going to trial for nearly three years.

    While Butler is celebrating her impending release the victim, the cab driver may never find out if she shot him.

    Heyward said prosecutors cannot refile the charges. "I'm just happy for my client today," he said.

    Heyward said a judge is expected to sign the paperwork for Butler to be released during a hearing Tuesday. Channel 2 tried to contact the cabdriver to get reaction but was unable to locate him.

    Next Up: