Mr. Gregory Favors, the man accused of killing a Georgia State trooper, will have to wait awhile longer to face a judge after his hearing was cancelled Wednesday because of the inclement weather.
A convict with a lengthy criminal past that stretches back 11 years, Mr. Favors is charged with murder and aggravated assault in the death of Trooper First Class Chadwick LeCroy on Dec. 27.
But while prosecutors are set to paint the image of a killer, a man who shot an officer for no apparent reason; Mr. Favors’ attorney, Mr. Gregory Mann, plans to describe his 30-year-old client as another man – a gentle father of two.
“Gregory is a very slow kid,” Mr. Mann said, adding Mr. Favors only has a 8th or 9th grade education. “He is not a violent kid.”
Though he has been arrested 18 times, Mr. Favors’ lengthy criminal pass does not show any history of violent behavior.
His record shows mainly drug charges, reckless driving and attempts to elude police, Fulton County jail officials said. He was currently out on bond for three counts of obstructing law enforcement, criminal attempt to enter auto and possession of cocaine when the shooting happened, spokeswoman Ms. Tracy Flanagan has said.
Mr. Mann said he was Mr. Favors’ attorney for most of those cases.
“He always had little dope cases, and got probation. It was never anything serious,” Mr. Mann said. “He’s a gentle kid. He’s just not very bright. Everything takes a while for him to understand.”
Mr. Favors was out on bond for two weeks when the shooting happened.
Investigators with Georgia State Patrol said Mr. Favors shot LeCroy once in the neck after a brief chase. Trooper LeCroy, the 38-year-old father of two sons, died in an ambulance on the way to Grady Memorial Hospital, spokesman Gordy Wright said.
The incident began as a routine traffic stop shortly after 11 p.m. when trooper LeCroy tried to pull over a 2007 Mazda on Bolton Road near James Jackson Parkway for a headlight violation, Mr. Wright has said. One of the headlights was not on, he said.
The image from the trooper’s dashboard camera shows that the driver initially stopped when trooper LeCroy pulled behind him with his blue lights on. But then the driver sped away. The ensuing chase ended when the Mazda hit a mailbox on St. Paul Avenue in Atlanta.
Police said Mr. LeCroy walked toward the passenger side of the Mazda; and the camera showed the driver leaned over to the passenger window and fired a handgun.
The suspect drove off in the trooper’s patrol car, which Atlanta police found a few blocks away on Gun Club Drive, Mr. Wright has said.
A short time later Atlanta police arrested Mr. Favors. They also found a gun, believed to be the murder weapon, on top of an apartment building roof, officials said.
Mr. Mann said he couldn’t believe it when he heard about the shooting.
“He’s never had a battery charge. He’s just not a violent kid. It didn’t strike me as something he would do.”
Still, investigators are sure they have the right man. Mr. Mann said he has seen the video from the trooper’s dashboard camera.
“It’s not great,” Mr. Mann said. “It shows someone leaning out of the car and shooting the officer. Whether they can identify that it’s Gregory – that’s a tough one.”
So far, officials have not set a new date for the hearing and Mr. Favors remain in the Fulton County Jail without bond.
“He’s scared (for himself),” Mr. Mann said. “He’s scared for his family.