Judge denies Athens cop killer's motion for new trial

Updated: May 9, 2020

Jamie Donnell Hood

By Joe Johnson

A Western Judicial Circuit judge recently denied convicted Athens cop-killer Jamie Hood’s motion for a new trial.

The ruling was issued April 29 by Judge H. Patrick Haggard, who nearly five years earlier presided over a trial in which Hood was convicted on 36 counts of a 70-count indictment and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A hearing on the motion was held in January in Clarke County Superior Court.

Judge H. Patrick Haggard

Attorneys from the Georgia Public Defender Council argued during the three-hour hearing that Hood must be granted a new trial on several grounds of reversible error by Haggard during the monthlong trial in the summer of 2015.

Judge H. Patrick Haggard
ood, who acted as his own attorney during his trial, was the only witness to testify at the hearing.

Much of Hood’s testimony focused on allegations that Haggard showed bias toward Hood through body language and facial expressions “amounting to comments on the evidence."

Hood's attorneys argued in the motion, “Because (Hood) objected, the Court committed reversible error by failing to give a limiting instruction to the jury or declaring a mistrial.”

From the witness stand, Hood told Haggard,” There was multiple occasions I felt the way you speaking and acting to me, the jury was looking at you.”

He added,” My thing was I didn’t think it was fair that I got treated in a tone and manner different from the prosecution.”

In his recent ruling. Haggart stated that “neither during the trial nor during Defendant's testimony at the motion for a new trial did he ever describe the body language.“