A Georgia superior court judge sentenced former officer Sherry Hall to 15 years in prison and 23 years probation for lying and saying she was shot by a black man.
On Sept. 13, 2016, Hall alleged a 6-foot-tall 230-pound African-American man opened fire with the bullet later being found in her vest. Hall’s lies sent Jackson, a city of about 5,000, into a frenzy and launched a search for the alleged culprit. The fabrication also came with national shootings of police officers that were believed to be revenge for the killing of unarmed black men.
Jackson Police Chief James Morgan said he’s baffled as to why Hall would lie.
“She did a great job for us, up until that night,” Morgan said. “So we didn’t see this coming. But this was not a mistake. It was a conscious decision and a choreographed act.”
After Hall’s falsehoods, residents in the area were on edge a shooter was on the loose, and a man fitting Hall’s description was taken to police custody. He was later released.
“We didn’t need an uprising,” Morgan said. “We didn’t want any racial tensions. This put a dim view on our department. But we rebounded. It defused pretty quickly.”
Hall could’ve avoided the lengthy sentence and only served five years in prison and five years probation had she taken a plea. However, she turned it down.
“She’s scared to death of prison. She wanted to take a plea, but not one that included prison time. She thought spending 90 days in jail before posting bond was enough,” Hall’s brother Steve Weaver said.
A jury convicted the former cop of 11 criminal charges, including making false statements and violating her oath and tampering with evidence.