Just over 3 years ago, we brought you the shocking story of how two Georgia cops brutally assassinated a mentally-ill drug addict in a low-speed chase and got away with the murder scot-free. Now, one of the alleged murderers has made headlines once again—this time, because he killed three people, including himself.
Lt. Robert C. Sasser shot and killed his estranged wife, her boyfriend, and then himself in a triangle of murder and suicide last week. The officer’s unthinkable actions come years after the killing of Caroline Small, in which he and his partner, Michael T. Simpson, unloaded their service pistols into Small’s face even after her car’s tires had been completely destroyed by spike strips and was pinned between a light pole and two police cruisers.
Now, critics contend had the officer and his partner been arrested for the cold-blooded murder of an unarmed woman and mother of two, Sasser’s estranged wife and her boyfriend would still be alive today
Fast-forward to 2018, and Sasser’s legal troubles mostly involved domestic abuse charges filed by his wife on May 13. She claimed that Sasser attempted to force his way into her home, beat her, and threatened her. Once again, he was given a privileged pass on justice and allowed to go free on bond.
Glynn County deputies attempted to make contact, on May 17, with Lt. Sasser, who was armed and sitting in his pickup truck in the woods where he used to hunt. He had written a suicide note. Deputies heard a gunshot. Many in the department thought he had killed himself, but he had not.
Granting Sasser the freedom to live that he had not afforded to Caroline Small, the SWAT team called in a police negotiator to talk him down and get him into custody. Sasser eventually opened his truck door and was taken into custody. The 9-hour standoff with Glynn County SWAT ended with Sasser facing felony charges for assault on a police officer.
As TFTP’s Matt Agorist described in 2015, “the brutal, rusty, and bloody cogs of the American justice system” turned once again in Sasser’s favor. Following the standoff with SWAT and felony charges filed against the officer, he was allowed, yet again, to walk free while awaiting trial.
Instead of being behind bars without bail, on May 24, Sasser was ordered to stay out of Glynn County. He moved to Alabama to stay with his sister and get medical treatment from the VA hospital. When he broke into his wife’s home and attacked her, and when he was in the standoff with SWAT, he was taking Zoloft, an antidepressant, that has been shown to make individuals twice as likely to commit suicide and other violent acts, including murder.
Sasser apparently never intended to live long enough to be tried for his crimes. A child custody hearing brought him back to Georgia where he reportedly threatened his wife, Katie, and her boyfriend, John Hall Jr., at Brunswick’s Moondoggy’s Pizza.
The couple filed a criminal complaint with the police alleging Sasser had made threatening gestures to them. Again, justice failed Sasser’s victims. The complaint should have put the officer behind bars where he belonged, but the police did nothing. Sasser had his opportunity and he took it.
On June 28, Sasser went to Hall’s home, and shot and killed both his estranged wife and Hall, before taking his own life.
Daniel Pearson, Hall’s best friend, considered as a brother, fought back tears as he discussed his friend’s murder. “All they had to do was their job and three people would still be alive,” he told First Coast News.
He described how Sasser entered the pizzeria on Tuesday, pointing his finger at the couple, and then left. He said police promised to handle the situation but Sasser was somehow free, and still had access to his gun.
Following the shooting of Katie Sasser and John Hall Jr., the group, Justice for Katie Small, issued the following statement penned by the group’s spokesperson Robert Apgar:
It saddens us even more to realize that these deaths could have been prevented…Once again, children have lost their parents and families have lost their loved ones at Corey Sasser’s hand. Too many lives have been lost due to public officials protecting and promoting one unfit to wear a badge.
Unfortunately, there are several lessons which can be learned in instances like this. First, police officers cannot and should never be held to a lower standard than the general public. If two citizens had hemmed in a motorist, pinning that person between a telephone pole and their cars, and then opened fire on that person, both would have been convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to prison without the possibility of parole. The officers’ badges kept them out of prison.
Second, when officers shoot anyone who is not posing a threat against them, they should be permanently stripped of their gun-carrying privileges—not given a promotion.
Third, any prosecutor who protects a police officer by presenting only favorable evidence to grand juries should be brought up on corruption charges
Fourth, police officers who are charged with domestic violence should not be allowed to go free before trial and should never be given their jobs back if they are convicted.
Lastly, any citizen who files a complaint against an officer should be given the respect of having their allegations taken seriously—not tossed aside as The Free Thought Project has reported on dozens of occasions.
Even with all of these suggestions for justice, nothing will bring back Caroline Small, Katie Sasser and John Hall Jr. For those individuals, the system has failed them, leaving only heartache in the aftermath.