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As such, Peabody was entitled to the procedural protections of the statute according to the appellate court.The trial court's motion to quash his indictment was affirmed.After learning that the State intended to present its case to the grand jury, Peabody timely notified the State that he wanted to testify before the grand jury pursuant to OCGA § 17-7-52, the statute which governs indictment procedures when a peace officer is charged with “a crime which is alleged to have occurred while he or she was in the performance of his or her duties.” OCGA § 17-7-52 (a).When the statute is applicable, an officer is entitled to at least 20-days notice prior to the presentment of a proposed indictment to a grand jury.On the afternoon of June 10, 2016, Peabody left work in his county vehicle, with Inka in the back seat.On the way home, Peabody received a text message from his wife asking him to let out a puppy that she was boarding at their home.
This Court then granted the State's request for interlocutory review.1. Given that the statute provides for notice only where the crime alleged occurred in the officer's performance of his or her official duties, the question before us is whether Peabody was acting in the performance of those duties at the time that he left Inka in the car. The way to determine whether OCGA § 17-7-52 applies to a peace officer is to specifically examine the “crime which is alleged to have occurred while he or she was in the performance of his or her duties.” OCGA § 17-7-52 (a). In fact, the issue in this appeal is akin to that in Roulain, supra, 159 Ga. at 234 (2), in which the defendants “confined a named prisoner under conditions which caused his death by heat prostration.” Id. Therefore, the amended version applies to our analysis.
The state did not send defendant a copy of the proposed indictment before it presented the case to the grand jury.
The state contends defendant "stepped aside" from his police-related duties and was therefore not afforded the protections of OCGA § 17-7-52. Since Peabody was responsible for the care and housing of Inka as her K-9 handler, leaving her unattended, albeit in an illegal manner, was still in performance of his police duties.
The state appeals the trial court's grant of defendant's motion to quash the indictment.
Specifically, the state argues that OCGA § 17-7-52 (a law that requires at least a 20-day notice prior to presentment of a proposed indictment to a grand jury when a peace officer is charged with a crime that occurred in the performance of his or her duties) is inapplicable.