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Grand jury hears Thomasville officer-involved shooting evidence

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jan 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-22 13:42:45-05

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) - Monday, a grand jury heard the case of a deadly Thomas County deputy-involved shooting that happened in August.

This deputy-involved shooting death led to widespread demonstrations in Thomasville.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says Thomas County Sheriff's deputy Josh Smith shot and killed 37-year old Herbert Gilbert, while serving a search warrant.

Its a case that caught the attention of many across South Georgia. Now it has the full attention of 23 grand jury members in Thomas County.

The GBI says Deputy Josh Smith shot and killed Herbert Gilbert while attempting to serve a search warrant. The Sheriff's Office turned over all body camera footage, dash camera footage, and the warrants they were serving.

All of that was looked at by the grand jury and they are to decide, "Was the officer justified in the use of deadly force?"

According to District Attorney Brad Shealey, the civil grand jury can make one of two recommendations.

If they were to decide there is enough evidence to possibly pursue criminal charges they would pass the case along to criminal grand jury who would hear the case in March. If the grand jury does not recommend the case be pursued with a true bill, the case is closed. 

Although it is not required that a grand jury hears the case of an officer involved shooting, a Shealey says that is his protocol.

The grand jury is expected to release its decision Tuesday morning in open court.