The Supreme Court of Georgia decided in September that Raymond Bunn, formerly of the Atlanta Police Department, was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed Corey Ward in 2002.
A key factor in the court’s decision was a computerized simulation, which was arranged and funded by LELDF. The simulation clearly demonstrated that Officer Bunn was in imminent danger of being struck by the vehicle that was speeding toward him — and thus he was in deadly physical danger and justified in firing at the driver.
LELDF also employed the services of Urey Patrick, a former FBI agent and instructor at the FBI Training Facility at Quantico, Virginia. Patrick examined all the evidence and concluded that Officer Bunn was following regulations and well within his rights as an officer to defend himself from deadly force when he fired at the oncoming vehicle. This was crucial testimony that helped lead to Officer Bunn’s acquittal.
Other expert witnesses precisely calibrated the actions of Officer Bunn and his partner, Officer Mulkey; the trajectories of the bullets fired; and the speed and direction of Ward’s vehicle.
Since his indictment in 2005, Officer Bunn has been fighting charges of murder and felony murder (capital offenses in Georgia), aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and violation of oath.
The indictment arose from an incident that occurred on July 14 at a parking lot on Peachtree Road in Atlanta. Officer Bunn fired two shots at a Chevy Tahoe that was trying to run him down. The driver of the vehicle, Corey Ward, was hit once in the head and died instantly.
Officers Bunn and Mulkey both believed that their lives were in danger as the large vehicle bore down on them. Other passengers in the vehicle confirmed that Ward knew that Bunn and Mulkey were police officers. Corey Ward had over two ounces of cocaine in his pocket when he was shot. When the vehicle was searched, police found seven bags of marijuana under the dashboard, two stolen cell phones, and a large knife in the pocket compartment in the front seat.
LELDF is pleased that this five-year ordeal has ended successfully. Now we need to focus on the civil case. Unfortunately, Ward’s family has filed a multimillion dollar civil lawsuit against Officers Bunn and Mulkey and the Police Department of Atlanta. LELDF is involved in this action by assisting with attorneys’ fees and with securing experts to demonstrate once again that Officer Bunn acted in self-defense.
Letter from Ray Bunn:
Dear Supporters of LELDF,
During the past five years, I faced the worst trial of my life. Even though I acted in self-defense that tragic night in July 2002, I was portrayed in the press as a heinous criminal. What kept me going were Dave Martin and the directors of LELDF who not only boosted my spirits, but made it possible for me to win my criminal case. Dave tells me that it is through the many donations, large and small, from supporters that LELDF was able to provide the legal assistance, the expert witnesses, the computerized simulation of the incident and much more. Tracey and I are profoundly grateful for the thousands of cards, letters, books and prayers sent to us. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for all you have done.