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Man convicted in shooting death of Ga. police officer after representing self during trial


ATHENS, Georgia — A man who served as his own lawyer was found guilty Monday in the shooting death of a police officer in Athens and could face the death penalty.

A jury found Jamie Hood guilty of murder and numerous other charges in the March 2011 shooting death of Athens-Clarke County Officer Elmer "Buddy" Christian III. A second officer, Tony Howard, was also wounded.

Hood was tried on 70 charges linked to Christian's death, including Howard's shooting, the 2010 death of a suspected drug dealer, and a kidnapping and carjacking after the shooting.

Authorities have said Hood fled after the shooting and agreed to surrender if local news outlets covered his arrest live. Hood was found not guilty of taking hostages when police were searching for him during a manhunt.

Hood admitted to the shooting but told the jury he fired shots because he was afraid he'd be killed by police. One of Hood's brothers had been killed by a police officer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Hood told the jury that when he shot Christian, he heard his brother's voice in his head saying, "Don't let them do you like they done me." Hood has also said he didn't mean to kill Christian.

Hood's former defense team said that he was paranoid and delusional, but the man was found competent to stand trial. Because of pretrial coverage of the case, jury selection in the case was moved to Elbert County.

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