By, July 07, 2015
A Houston County grand jury didn’t indict a Dothan police officer who fatally shot a man during an altercation at an animal shelter.
District Attorney Doug Valeska told the Dothan Eagle that the case is now considered closed.
According to Dothan police, Robert Earl Lawrence, 30, was shot during an altercation with a police officer at the Dothan Animal Shelter on Dec. 30, 2014. He later died at Southeast Alabama Medical Center.
Lawrence was apparently trying to surrender a stray animal at the shelter, but he became disorderly when he was told he must show a photo ID.
“After repeatedly being told to calm down, Lawrence was advised he was being placed under arrest,” Dothan Police Sgt. Maurice Eggleston told AL.com last year. “A physical altercation ensued, to which Lawrence was shot in the abdomen (by an officer).”
Police say Lawrence identified himself as a sovereign citizen and didn’t have a state-issued ID.
Valeska said the State Bureau of Investigation’s review of the case was presented to the grand jury. The materials included recorded interviews, photos and video of the incident.
He didn’t go so far to say the homicide was justifiable, though.
“I let the grand jury decide because I’m well aware of what’s taking place across the country with other officer shootings,” Valeska told the newspaper. “The Houston County grand jury made a determination, and the case is closed from our standpoint.”