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Atlanta Man Receives Massive Prison Sentence After Pleading Guilty to Murdering Police Detective During Shooting Spree


Amanuel Menghesha appears in a mugshot

A Georgia man was sentenced to spend several hundred years in prison on Friday for the years-ago murder of a police detective.

Fulton County Police Department Detective Terence Green was killed amidst a shoot-out where the condemned man also took aim at several other officers and county sheriff’s deputies in March 2015.

Amanuel Menghesha, 50, was sentenced to life in prison plus 375 years for the officer’s malice murder, aggravated assault on a peace officer, and over 30 additional offenses in connection with the shocking spree of violence during which Green was shot three times.

On the night in question, various Atlanta-area law enforcement agencies responded to calls that a man, possibly intoxicated, was going door-to-door, banging and firing a long-barreled gun.

The caliber of the weapon has not been broadly reported and was initially not described by law enforcement. According to Atlanta Fox affiliate WAGA, police described the gun as an AK-47.

The 48-year-old slain detective and another officer were among the first to arrive. Green was shot in the head just before 1:00 a.m. and was pronounced dead at 4:30 a.m. at a nearby hospital.

At least 12 rounds were fired by the assailant at police.

Just after the shooting, Fulton County Assistant Police Chief Gary Stiles told Atlanta NBC affiliate WXIA that the officers “were trying to do their job, they were trying to protect this neighborhood from someone who was shooting. And they had no other option but to do their job. And the way it appears to me, they were ambushed without warning.”

Other law enforcement agents returned fire, and Menghesha was struck down; however, he survived after being taken to nearby Grady Hospital.

“Detective Green was initially struck in the left upper arm,” Twanesa Howard, Green’s mother, said, in comments reported by WXIA. “There was also a hole in his left shoulder and the left side of his head.”

The defendant’s atypically lengthy sentence was actually the result of a negotiated plea agreement in order to avoid a trial in which he would have been subject to being executed by the Peach State.

“The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office prosecution of this case and the court’s sentence makes it clear that attacks on our law enforcement officers have no place in our state,” Fulton County Police Chief Keith Meadows said in a statement obtained by Atlanta-based CBS affiliate WGCL.  “Many of our officers worked with and cherished Detective Green during his time with us. Terence’s void will never be filled; however, his family, coworkers, and friends can hopefully gain some closure with this conviction.”

Green was a 22-year veteran of the police force. He hailed from the suburban community of East Point, Georgia. The deceased was survived by his parents, an older brother, and his four sons.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the courtroom was “packed” when Superior Court Judge Jane Barwick issued the sentence that will all-but certainly result in Menghesha dying in prison.

“We want to wrap our arms around Detective Green’s family and pray that they and all officers involved are finally able to find some comfort and healing,” the FCPD said in a statement obtained by the paper.

[image via City of South Fulton Police Department]

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