Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
Lisa Ann Lebis sits in court and listens to testimony during her preliminary hearing Thursday afternoon. There was no explanation for her wrapped wrist.
By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — Clayton County police found a stolen handgun and a pump-action shotgun in the motel room of an accused cop killer, testimony showed Thursday.
Tremaine Lebis, 41, of McDonough shot and killed Officer Sean Callahan before officers shot Lebis during an altercation at Motel 6 in Stockbridge.
His wife, Lisa Ann Lebis, 40, was charged with simple battery on a police officer and obstruction of an officer during the same incident. However, after police conducted a search warrant on the room she had rented at the motel, new charges were added.
Clayton County police Officer John Gosart testified during her preliminary hearing Thursday on charges of theft by receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
"We found two firearms, a 9mm handgun and a 12-gauge pump action shotgun," said Gosart. "The 9mm had been reported stolen in a DeKalb County burglary Dec. 14. Lisa Lebis is a convicted felon."
Gosart said the room had been rented in Lisa Lebis' name and she and her husband had been staying there. It is unclear why since the couple apparently lived in a house on Turner Road in McDonough.
Gosart said police were called to the motel Dec. 17 because of a disagreement between the couple and management.
"The altercation had reached the level as such that the management wanted them out of the room," he said. "There was an allegation that Tremaine Lebis had caused damage to the room."
Callahan and another officer responded to take him into custody for criminal trespass, said Gosart. The couple immediately scuffled with police, he said. Lisa Lebis allegedly kicked an officer in the chest. Her husband broke free and ran around the building.
"Tremaine Lebis decided he did not want to return to prison that day," said Gosart. "He shot and killed Officer Callahan."
Georgia Department of Corrections records show Tremaine Lebis was a convicted felon released from state prison in May after serving 15 years for aggravated assault and weapons charges. He was to have served parole until 2016.
Lebis' public defender, Agis Bray III, tried to show that her husband was responsible for the firearms, not her. He asked Judge Stephen Knights Jr. to dismiss the case.
"It's unfortunate what happened to Officer Callahan but she's not responsible for what happened or for the weapon being in her room," said Bray.
However, prosecutor Bill Dixon said the facts were clear.
"Was Lisa Lebis on the scene that day?" he asked Gosart. "Was Room 226 rented to her? It was her room, she was there and she's a convicted felon with a stolen firearm in her room."
Knights agreed and bound over the case to a grand jury.
During Lebis’ first appearance hearing Dec. 18, Chief Magistrate Judge Daphne Walker set a $17,500 bond on the original charges. Lebis came into court sporting a black eye and complained that the death of her husband would make it harder for her to hire her own attorney. Three days later, new charges were added. Her total bond is $67,500.
Depending on the facts of the case, Lebis could face murder charges in Callahan’s death. Under Georgia law, the so-called “hand of one is the hand of all” statute allows accomplices to be charged with murder if one occurs during the commission of a felony, even if that accomplice didn’t pull the trigger.
Lisa Lebis told Walker that she is five months pregnant, has two children living with her ex-husband and his parents, is diabetic, has seizures and has a brain aneurysm.
Callahan came to work for the Clayton department in August and, fellow officers said, died doing what he loved.