Norfolk, Va., Officer Michael Carlton Edington Jr., accused of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of a mentally ill man, was released on a personal recognizance bond, the Virginian-Pilot reports.
On June 6, 2014, David Latham’s family called 911 to get emergency psychiatric treatment for him. Latham, 35, was mentally ill and had previous interactions with the police in similar situations. The responding officers usually knew how to manage Latham, his mother, Audrey Latham, said, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
This time, though, things went tragically wrong. Latham reportedly had a knife in his hand when the officers arrived. Edington shot him multiple times, including in the back, the newspaper reports.
A special grand jury indicted the 25-year-old policeman last Thursday, and he surrendered to the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office the next day.
Latham’s mother told WTKR-TV that Edington went too far when he confronted her son, who needed help for his mental illness.
“He was just trigger-happy,” she stated to WTKR. “I don’t know if he was fearful or what, but he didn’t give my son any time to think. They shot him like a dog.”
A spokeswoman for Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood said that the prosecutor did not oppose Edington’s release, according to the Virginian-Pilot. They don’t believe he’s a flight risk.