Ex-Montgomery officer reports to serve manslaughter sentence

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 6:14 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Ex-Montgomery officer Aaron “Cody” Smith reported to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Detention Facility around midnight Monday to serve his 14 years in prison.

Smith was convicted of manslaughter in the fatal 2016 shooting of Montgomery resident Gregory Gunn.

During his trial, Smith testified that the district where the shooting happened was ‘getting torn up with burglaries,’ and his lieutenant instructed him to ‘stop everything that moved.’ Smith exhausted all legal avenues to have the charge against him dismissed. The trial was held in Dale County after a series of petitions to have the trial moved out of Montgomery County.

Smith was ultimately convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 14 years in prison and must pay court costs and restitution.

Smith resigned from the police department following his conviction.

[MORE: Coverage of the Aaron Cody Smith trial]

Following his conviction, Smith appealed to the lower courts, arguing three points for an appeal to overturn; The first included allegations that the trial court erred by prohibiting testimony that Gunn resisted arrest in 2007. The second point was that the court denied Smith a second immunity hearing after the trial judge who denied Smith’s immunity from prosecution was forced to recuse by the Alabama Supreme Court. The final appeal argument was “insufficient” evidence to sustain a conviction of “heat of passion” manslaughter, which the court did not.

That appeal was ultimately denied.

The Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals later affirmed the lowers court’s decision, upholding its decision to deny his appeal. The state filed a motion soon after seeking to revoke his bond and invoke his sentencing.

Smith has filed a petition with the Alabama Supreme Court to have his conviction and sentencing overturned. The state’s highest court has not yet made a determination on that filing.

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