ATLANTA - A Fulton County Grand Jury has decided to re-indict a former Atlanta police officer in a deadly 2016 shooting
James Rolfe Burns was once again indicted Wednesday for the murder of 22-year-old Deravis Caine Rogers. Prosecutors said the original indictment was ruled nolle prosequi in July due to a procedural matter related to the statements Burns made during the previous Grand Jury proceeding. The Fulton County District Attorney decided to bring the case before the grand jury again to move forward.
On June 22, 2016, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Burns shot and killed Rogers. The shooting happened in the 2100 block of Monroe Drive. Burns was called to the Monroe Place apartment complex to look for a car break-in suspect. The GBI said Rogers posed no threat to Burns when the former officer opened fire on him as he drove out of the complex.
Investigators said Burns shot the 22-year-old in the head. Medics took Rogers to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he later died.
Atlanta Police quickly fired Burns not long after he was charged with felony murder.
Burns was released from jail on bond on July 22.
Burns' attorney said the former officer was only trying to defend himself.
The Rogers' family earlier announced they were suing Burns, the city of Atlanta and now-former Police Chief George Turner. Lawyers for the family claimed there is a system-wide culture with the department that fosters excessive force among officers. Those lawyers also called Burns a "ticking time bomb."
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said his office remains steadfast in its commitment to the murder case against Burns.
Melva Rogers and Deravis Thomas, mother and father of Caine Rogers released the following statement through the family’s lawyers about the re-indictment:
“As the parents of Caine Rogers, we are grateful that this Grand Jury has returned a re-indictment against former officer James Burns. We are very pleased with this outcome and feel one step closer to justice in the unlawful killing of our beloved son, Caine. Nothing will bring Caine back to us, but we know this is a powerful, necessary step to move forward and get the justice we are seeking. We would like to thank Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard for his commitment to this case, the community for its unwavering support and The Cochran Firm Atlanta for being our advocate. We continue to have faith that justice will be done in this case.”