ATHENS- Witnesses were called to the stand today in the case of an Athens Police officer accused of bribing a fellow officer to get a friend off from a DUI charge.
Christopher Burton sat with his defense attorneys, fingers locked, as the prosecution briefed the jury.
The prosecution stressed conspiracy and bribery to the jury . The defense argued that Burton’s comments to a fellow officer about getting a DUI erased from a friend’s record were made in a joking manner.
The comments were made in 2012 when Burton approached Officer Sean Palmateer and told him that he had arrested an acquaintance of Burton’s and charged him with DUI. The prosecution said that Burton then told Palmateer that Julian Larry Anderson would pay Palmateer to dismiss the charge.
An undercover operation led by the GBI led to the arrest and 120 days of confinement plus 10-years probation and community service for Anderson, who bribed Palmateer with $3500 at a local Waffle House.
The jury will decide whether Burton was an accomplice to the crime.
UPDATE: The office of Judge Lawton Stephens says a verdict probably won’t be reached for at least a couple of days.