Freedom for Man Who Shot Cop in Racially Charged Mistake

After 10 years in prison for shooting a police officer he believed was an intruder, Cory Maye will be a free man.

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Cory Maye (ReasonTV.com)

After being imprisoned for 10 years for shooting and killing a police officer who raided his home on a bad tip, and who he thought was in intruder, 30-year-old Cory Maye has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in his second trial. He's been sentenced to time he's already served and will be released within days. From the Huffington Post:

Shortly after midnight on December 26, 2001, Maye, then 21, was drifting off to sleep in his Prentiss duplex as the television blared in the background. Hours earlier, he had put his 18-month-old-daughter to sleep. He was soon awoken by the sounds of armed men attempting to break into his home. In the confusion, he fired three bullets from the handgun he kept in his nightstand.

As he would later testify in court, Maye realized within seconds that he'd just shot a cop. A team of police officers from the area had received a tip from an informant -- later revealed to be a racist drug addict -- that there was a drug dealer living in the small yellow duplex on Mary Street ...

Maye would later testify that as soon as he realized the armed men in his home were police, he surrendered and put up his hands. There were three bullets still left in his gun. But Maye had just shot a cop. And not just any cop. He shot Officer Ron Jones, Jr., the son of Prentiss Police Chief Ron Jones, Sr. Maye is black; Jones was white. And this was Jefferson Davis County, a part of Mississippi still divided by tense relations between races. Maye was arrested and charged with capital murder, the intentional killing of a police officer.

Source: the Huffington Post.

Maye was finally tried in 2004 in Marion County, Miss., sentenced to death and then resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a judge determined that he had received inadequate defense counsel. In 2010 he was granted a new trial on the grounds that he should have been permitted to offer the defense that he was defending his daughter on the night of the raid. And now he'll be a free man.

In a case involving many tragedies, including the lost life of the police officer and the racial tension that surrounded the entire event, that's one long-awaited piece of good news.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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