The Alabama Supreme Court issued a ruling today denying immunity from prosecution for a Montgomery police officer charged with the murder of a Montgomery resident almost three years ago but granted requests for a new judge and to move the trial.
Aaron Cody Smith, charged with the murder of Gregory Gunn after stopping Gunn walking through his neighborhood in February 2016, had asked the Supreme Court to grant him immunity from prosecution because he was acting as a police officer and acting in self-defense.
The Supreme Court denied that motion, ruling that Smith had not demonstrated a clear right to immunity.
Smith also asked the court to order Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin to recuse himself from the case. And he requested to have the case moved out of Montgomery County because of pretrial publicity. The Supreme Court granted Smith’s requests on recusal and change of venue.
The incident, involving a white police officer fatally shooting a black man, initially sparked protests in Montgomery. Smith was arrested and charged with murder and later indicted for murder by a Montgomery County grand jury. That set the stage for the disputes over how the case should be handled.