Ayers Civil Trial Continues Tuesday

The civil trial taking place in connection to the 2009 shooting death of Lavonia pastor the Rev. Jonathan Ayers is scheduled to resume tomorrow.

That’s according to the U.S. District Court Office in Gainesville.

The trial only took place on Monday last week due to the winter storm that moved through north Georgia.

Opening statements and testimony in the trial began back on February 3 in front of Judge Richard W. Story.

The Rev. Ayers’ widow has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in connection to the death of her husband.

He was shot in the parking lot of a Toccoa gas station in September 2009 by NCIS Drug Team Officer Billy Shane Harrison and later died from his injuries.

Her lawsuit has made claims of false arrest, assault and battery, and excessive force against Officer Harrison in connection to the death of her husband.

During her attorneys’ portion of the case, numerous witnesses testified, including Harrison and Agent Chance Oxner, who was also on the scene and involved in the incident.

During his testimony, Oxner says he heard Agent Harrison identify himself as police to the Rev. Ayers when he approached the pastor’s vehicle in the gas station parking lot, adding that they wanted to question the pastor over his connection to a woman named Kayla Barrett, who was a target in an NCIS Team drug investigation.

Oxner says the Rev. Ayers had been seen with Barrett on the day of the shooting.

However, when questioned by attorneys for the pastor’s widow, Oxner testified that the officers were in plain clothes and that Oxner himself did not have any identification on him as a police officer when he exited the drug team’s vehicle because he was undercover.

Court documents indicate that attorneys for the Rev. Ayers’ widow rested on February 7 and the defense began presenting its case.