ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A new judge has been assigned to the case of a man charged in the 2011 shooting death of an Athens police officer.

The defendant, Jamie Hood, had requested that a new judge be assigned, claiming a possible conflict of interest by the first judge.

The Athens Banner-Herald reported Wednesday that Superior Court Judge H. Patrick Haggard will now be handling the case. Haggard was appointed to the court in June 2011 by Gov. Nathan Deal.

Hood is charged with killing officer Elmer “Buddy” Christian III and wounding officer Tony Howard. Hood faces the death penalty if convicted.

Chief Judge Lawton Stephens was removed from the case last week after a hearing in which witnesses testified Stephens was an acquaintance of Howard, the officer wounded in the shooting.


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