Former officer denied new trial in attack

Jay Dailey

Jay Dailey

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A Gwinnett County judge denied a motion Tuesday for a new trial for Jay Dailey, the former Duluth police officer now facing 60 years in prison following his bizarre 2008 attacks on residents and a fellow officer.

Attorney Sharon Hopkins argued the motion on three grounds in front of Judge Dawson Jackson, unsuccessfully pointing to what she called a biased juror, a pair of inappropriate hospital-room interviews and the court's unwillingness to offer lesser charges in the original trial.

Dailey was convicted on nine separate charges last June -- including aggravated assault on a police officer and two additional counts of aggravated assault -- after a jury found him guilty of shooting off-duty Fulton County police Cpl. Paul Phillips in the left arm, pointing his gun at two passing motorists and pepper-spraying another victim during a drunken rampage in Sugar Hill on Feb. 1, 2008.

In short, Hopkins pushed for a new trial on these points:

* A juror in the original trial told prosecutors during selection that two close family members had been the victims of armed assaults, and that she "wouldn't have mercy" for Dailey. Hopkins said Tuesday she should not have been allowed to serve on the jury.

"She expressed her bias enough that she should have been struck for cause," Hopkins said.

* While Dailey, shot in the hand during the incident, was in the hospital, Gwinnett County police detectives had "conversations" with him while he was reportedly still under the influence of alcohol and had not yet been read his Miranda rights.

"(The detective) had the information, he was trying to get the defendant to admit that that's what happened," Hopkins said.

The state argued Tuesday that the hospital room was considered an "extension of the scene," providing for the "initial, on-scene exception to Miranda."

* Hopkins also stated Tuesday that the jury in Dailey's original trial should have been given the option of lesser charges when it came to the pair of passersby that her client pointed his weapon at.

The jury should have had the opportunity to choose reckless conduct charges for those offenses, rather than aggravated assault, Hopkins said.

Jackson denied the motion for a new trial on all grounds.

Hopkins also unsuccessfully voiced a motion for reconsideration of sentencing, focusing on the pair of aggravated assault charges that tacked on 40 years to Dailey's sentence.