- Associated Press - Saturday, June 13, 2015

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Norfolk police officer recently indicted for voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a mentally ill man has been released without having to post a cash bond.

Twenty-five-year-old officer Michael C. Edington Jr. turned himself in to the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office on Friday, one day after he was indicted by a special grand jury, The Virginian-Pilot (https://bit.ly/1KO1FR6) reports. He was booked and then released on a personal recognizance bond.

Police have said 35-year-old David Latham was shot by Edington in June 2014, after he threatened the officer with a knife.

Latham’s mother, Audrey Latham, has said that her son had schizophrenia and had recently stopped taking his medication. She also has said police came to the family’s home in the past to help her son obtain psychiatric care.

The grand jury heard testimony for more than two days last week and declined to indict Edington for second-degree murder or use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Prosecutors did not oppose Edington’s release because they do not believe he is a flight risk said Amanda Howie, a spokeswoman for Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood. Howie said it is not uncommon for a person indicted or charged with manslaughter to be out of custody while awaiting trial.

Mike McKenna, a former Norfolk police officer and a national representative of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, urged the public to suspend judgment until a trial is held.

Keith Winingear, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Commodore Lodge in Norfolk, said he is disappointed with the situation.

“Now we just have to wait for the whole judicial system to take its course and put our trust and confidence in that,” Winingear said.

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Information from: The Virginian-Pilot, https://pilotonline.com


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