McDONOUGH — Former Henry County Police Officer David Rose turned himself in at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning after entering a not guilty plea before Superior Court Judge Holly W. Veal Tuesday morning but reportedly was not booked due to lack of a warrant.
Rose faces a single misdemeanor charge of simple battery in the Dec. 2, 2017, arrest of former pro football player Desmond Marrow after Marrow and two other men got into a traffic dispute.
District Attorney Darius Pattillo said the plea was a last-minute surprise and that both sides had been working to a plea deal in which Rose would voluntarily surrender his POST certifications for life, ending Rose’s law enforcement career.
Pattillo attempted to introduce a notarized agreement to that effect, signed by Rose on March 8, as state’s exhibit one.
Rose’s attorney, Lee Sexton, objected to Pattillo introducing the document. “That was only executed as part of a plea negotiation,” he told Veal, saying the agreement was not admissible.
Sexton also told the court that his side had negotiated with the District Attorney’s Office “in good faith,” adding, “Never was there an agreement to enter a plea of guilty to anything.”
Rose was going to enter a plea of nolo contendere, Sexton said, but “his conscience just got the best of him. He said to me, ‘(I’m) not going to be a criminal for something I didn’t do.”
Repeatedly referring to Marrow as “the alleged victim,” Sexton said that Marrow, kicking and screaming, refused to allow officers to search him, “suggested he (couldn’t) breathe” and was sent to the hospital.
“Obviously, there was nothing wrong with him,” Sexton said.
Pattillo said the misdemeanor charge against Rose would proceed by accusation.
Sexton argued that a charge against a certified law enforcement officer requires a grand jury, even if it’s a misdemeanor.
“Nobody is above the law, even police officers,” Pattillo said.
“I’m not suggesting he’s above the law,” Sexton replied. “The accusation is void unless it’s presented to a grand jury.”
“The accusation is not void,” Pattillo responded.
The document was not admitted as evidence.
“Unless there is a change in the law” in the next 24 hours, Veal said, Rose has until 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to get booked at the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.
In a press conference following the arraignment, Pattillo said he may file additional felony charges against Rose before a grand jury, saying he was “disappointed Rose chose not to take responsibility for his actions.”
Sources told the News that Rose attempted to book himself at the jail shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday. However, there was no warrant for Rose, which means he would not be booked until the case is presented to a grand jury.
More to come on this breaking story.