Ex-cop turned security guard Gregory Livingston has been indicted with first- degree murder in the fatal shooting of Alvin Motley at a Kroger gas station in Memphis, Tennessee. Originally charged with second-degree murder, the grand jury decided to indict Livingston on this new charge after viewing surveillance footage and additional evidence and testimony.
Livingston was only a security guard for two weeks, and repeatedly failed to get licensed as an armed guard, when he and a nearly blind Motley got into an argument over Motley’s music on Aug. 7. The argument continued to escalate, until finally Motley approached Livingston saying “Let’s talk about this like men,” and Livingston fired a fatal shot to his chest.
According to the Commercial Appeal, Livingston is still in custody with a bail set at $1.8 million.
From the Appeal:
Second-degree murder charges were filed shortly after the shooting by Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich’s office. Later, Weirich recused her office from prosecuting, citing a potential conflict of interest with an employee in the office.
Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk was appointed shortly after.
A Memphis police officer said during courtroom testimony in September that Motley was holding a beer and about to take a drag from his cigarette as he walked toward Livingston in the parking lot of the gas station at 6600 Poplar Ave.
Motley was shot through his right wrist with the same bullet puncturing his chest, according to a post-mortem photo shown in court this September, the wound indicative of the upward motion of Motley’s arm as he raised his cigarette to take a drag.
One witness said that during the heated confrontation Livingston had returned to the register and remarked “I’ve shot and killed four people before.”
“We were always taught murder two is a crime of passion. You didn’t go to a place suspecting to murder someone but because of circumstances things happen and it was sort of like a knee-jerk thing.” said NAACP Memphis Branch President Van Turner, according to WREG Memphis.
“In this instance I think there was plenty enough time for the security officer Livingston to walk away, he had been trained as an officer, he had been trained on de-escalating situations,” Turner continued. “It’s up to the state to push the case forward and of course it has to go to the real jury that will hopefully convict Mr. Livingston.”
A trial date has not been set yet.