February 25, 2023

USA: Man Who Shot, Paralyzed Woman Re-Arrested After An 11Alive Report. Judge Dismissed Case Because Officer Failed To Appear. District Attorney Confirms No Supoena Had Been Sent To Officer.

11Alive published February 24, 2023: Man suspected of shooting, paralyzing woman re-arrested after judge dismissed case. The indictment against Keymontay Howell came days after an 11Alive report on how his charges were dismissed.
For the record, the Fulton County District Attorney which services Atlanta is a Commie Democrat. No surprise there.

On Jan 27, 2023 Fulton County DA Willis said, "Fulton Case Backlog Could Take 'Another Year' to Normalize. “It will take another year, or another 18 months, to be operating where we should be, where it's only six to nine months waiting for [defendants' cases to go to trial],” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said."

Wow, as I continue digging I find out that back in December 2021 11Alive reported, "Fulton County announces plan to fix years of backlogged criminal charges". Fulton County DA Willis said, "Fulton County has a backlog of more than 200,000 criminal cases that haven’t been entered into a state database that tracks criminal records." That was a year ago and still promising to do her job. Why is still holding that critical position? (emphasis mine)
written by La'Tasha Givens, 11Alive Staff
Friday February 24, 2023

ATLANTA — A suspect in the shooting and paralyzing of an Atlanta woman during an attempted robbery will now face justice. This comes after an 11Alive report on how the case had been dismissed because the state's only witness -- a police officer -- didn't show up to court.

That suspect, Keymontay Howell, was indicted on four charges in the case.

The Atlanta Police Department claims the officer never received a subpoena and was therefore unaware he needed to appear in court. The DA's Office said the subpoena was served, and on Friday, walked back their statement.

With a lack of witness, the case against Howell was tossed out - an outcome that left the victim, Danielle Whaley, stunned.

"It feels like I was shot all over again," she told 11Alive's La'Tasha Givens before the case had been revived.

Whaley was a rising food prep chef known to her followers as Chef Yummy on Instagram. However, the robbery attempt on May 27, 2022 changed her life forever - just as her career began to take off.

According to the indictment by a Fulton County grand jury, Howell allegedly shot her in the back as he stole $300. He's charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a felony.

"When I drove away he shot through the back window and that went through the window and hit me in the back. It pierced through the driver seat and hit me in my back," Whaley told 11Alive.

She lost all feeling in her legs and couldn't stop her car. Whaley then crashed into another vehicle before coming to a stop in front of a nearby barbershop.

"In the moment you're like 'am I dying? Am I dead?'" she explained.

Whaley now lives life in a wheelchair and is paralyzed from the chest down.

"You miss those things that you used to do," Whaley said.

A month after the violent incident, jail records show Atlanta Police Department investigators made an arrest in late June 2022. The man was formally accused of aggravated assault and robbery.

Court records show in late September, after 101 days in jail, a judge granted the man a $410,000 bond.

He never posted bond, records show.

But in October, court records reveal all charges were dropped and he was released from jail.

Though he was accused of a crime, he was released from custody because the state's witness, the officer, had not shown up to court.

In the case dismissal notice, the judge writes the state had ample time to prepare for a preliminary hearing. The state argued it could not attempt to call their witness prior to court because prosecutors did not have a good phone number.

"The State's witness failed to appear for a scheduled court date and failed to notify the State of any legal conflicts," the notice reads.

The lack of the officer's presence, the only witness in the case, led to a judge dismissing the case and dropping the charges against the suspect

"Now you're out here and you can harm the next individual," Whaley said through tears.

A spokesperson for APD said it does not have a record of the officer being asked to report to the court.

"We have a Court Liaison Office that is responsible for receiving, documenting and distributing all subpoenas and they have no record of this subpoena," a statement from APD reads.

But a spokesman for Fulton County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday disagreed with APD.

He claimed the subpoena was served and the officer failed to appear in court.

According to Atlanta Police, the officer was also not on active duty around the time the subpoena was supposedly served. A department spokesman wrote, "based on our preliminary findings, the investigator went on approved, extended leave the day after the subpoena is said to have been sent."

The APD spokesman added, "A successful prosecution is something we take seriously and we will be working with the courts to determine what happened here and what steps may be possible to prosecute this case."

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