GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Police turned out in force Tuesday as a man connected to a Gwinnett County officer’s murder pleaded guilty.
Officer Antwon Toney was killed nearly one year ago.
Isaiah Pretlow entered guilty pleas Tuesday afternoon for his role in Toney’s death.
Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers told Channel 2 Gwinnett County Bureau Chief Tony Thomas that the plea is a small step in the healing process for his department.
“Now we can concentrate 100 percent on the healing of the department and Antwon Toney's family,” Ayers told Thomas.
“How's that healing going?” Thomas asked Ayers.
“It's a work in progress, let’s put it that way,” Ayers said.
Emotions are still raw nearly a year after Toney was murdered. He was responding to a suspicious vehicle call when Maynard opened fire as Toney got out of his car.
Triggerman Tafarree Maynard was killed in an hourslong manhunt. His accomplice, Pretlow, is the only defendant Toney’s family and the department will ever hear say these words: “I'm truly sorry.”
On Tuesday, Pretlow pleaded guilty, admitting he sped away from police and hid evidence of the shooting.
He still denied pointing a gun at another officer during the manhunt but conceded prosecutors had enough evidence to gain a conviction.
“I don’t get along with bad … I don't like bad, I don't like being in trouble. When things happen, it just happen. There’s just nothing I could do except learn from my mistakes,” Pretlow said.
Pretlow cried as his mother defended him.
“Isaiah did not know the dude he was with was going to do that to the officer,” Tammy Pretlow said.
Judge Ronnie Batchelor sentenced Isaiah Pretlow to 28 years in prison. He could have faced more than 100 years.
“Life is a series of decision(s) and decisions have consequences and they certainly had consequences for Mr. Pretlow today,” Ayers said.
Eight of the 28 years that Pretlow was sentenced to are for a gang-related burglary Pretlow was wanted on when Toney was shot.
Toney's family flew in from California for Tuesday’s hearing, but told Thomas they didn't want to talk.
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