Attorney says Atlanta narcotics unit in fatal raid skirted laws

ATLANTA - The attorney for a former police officer charged in a botched drug raid in which an elderly woman was shot to death described a renegade Atlanta narcotics unit that routinely planted drugs and lied to obtain search warrants.

Former officer Arthur Tesler's unit often took illegal shortcuts, ignored department policy and carried bags of drugs in their squad cars, defense attorney William McKenney said Monday in opening statements for Tesler's trial on charges of lying to help cover up misconduct in the raid.

Kathryn Johnston, 92, was killed Nov. 26, 2006, shot 39 times as plainclothes narcotics officers busted into her home using a 'no-knock' warrant.