UPDATE: On a second motion – this time from the prosecution – the judge also said he would deny introduction of a reportedly similar incident that had involved Commissioner Shabazz in May, about a month before the accident for which he faces charges.
The prosecution said a video camera worn by s police officer showed Shabazz identifying himself as a commissioner after reportedly honking his horn while stuck in traffic as an accident scene was being cleared. The Judge said introduction of that tape may be prejudicial to Shabazz.
Jury selection is expected to proceed later today.
The district attorney’s office sought to enter into evidence
UPDATE: Long County Judge Jeffrey Arnold has denied the motion from Shabazz’s attorney saying he does “not believe there is an appearance of political motivation.”
SAVANNAH Ga. – Chatham County Commissioner Usef Shabazz is in court this morning as he faces charges of allegedly leaving the scene of an accident with injuries in June of 2014 after identifying himself.
At this hour, defense attorney Stephanie Burgess is arguing that the office of Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap and anyone in her office should be kept from trying this case. Burgess is arguing that the DA’s office is engaging in selective prosecution perhaps for political motivations. She cited a number of reasons including the fact she said the DA’s office had made public a plea deal that had been offered but that Shabazz would not accept.
Burgess says there is a conflict of interest exists and a special prosecutor should be appointed. The motion is being heard before Long County Judge Jeffrey Arnold because several local judges did recuse themselves.