The man charged with murdering Clinton Police Officer Gary Michael pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance Friday.
As Officer Michael’s family entered the courtroom, dozens of his fellow officers stood at attention, many of them wearing badges bearing a black band and Officer Michael’s radio number, 321.
Dozens of officers were in the courtroom Friday to support the family of slain Clinton Police Officer Gary Michael as his alleged killer made his first appearance. Many of them wore badges bearing a black band and Officer Michael's radio number, 321.
Ian McCarthy appeared for his arraignment via video.
Once he appeared on the screen, the silence in the courtroom was broken by sounds of people crying. It was the first time Officer Michael’s family had seen McCarthy.
Prosecutors said McCarthy shot and killed Officer Michael last Sunday during a traffic stop.
That then led to a two-day manhunt and McCarthy’s capture on Tuesday.
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The Henry County prosecutor said he believes the shooting was premeditated, not necessarily toward Officer Michael specifically, but toward law enforcement in general.
"I think probably it would be towards law enforcement in general. I don't think he had any specific animosity towards Officer Michael. None that I am aware of," Henry County Prosecutor Richard Shields said.
Across the street from the courthouse is China House.
Workers there said Officer Michael often came in for lunch.
"It's sad. It's not fair. He was a good cop – you want that in a cop. It's just not fair," Alicia Martinez said.
Martinez was his waitress on Friday.
"He always joked with me. I am sort of clumsy -- [Did you ever mess up his order?] No! Well, his egg roll almost rolled off the plate," Martinez said.
The judge did not set a bond for McCarthy.
William Noble also appeared via video. He's charged with tampering with evidence for allegedly discarding the gun used to shoot Officer Michael. Court documents said he had previously sold the gun to McCarthy.
Noble did not enter a plea Friday, but the judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
Noble will appear in court again in September. McCarthy’s next appearance will be in October.