Teen shows no emotion during deputy-shooting hearing

Photo by Kathy Jefcoats
Veasna Jonathan Bun listens to the charges against him during his first appearance in Clayton Magistrate Court.

Photo by Kathy Jefcoats Veasna Jonathan Bun listens to the charges against him during his first appearance in Clayton Magistrate Court.

By Kathy Jefcoats


A Riverdale teen charged in the shooting death of a Clayton County sheriff's deputy made his first court appearance Friday afternoon, and met with the public defender who will be representing him.

Veasna Jonathan Bun, 17, showed no emotion as Chief Magistrate Judge Daphne Walker read the litany of charges against him. They include felony-and-malice murder for the death of Deputy Rick Daly.

If convicted, Bun could face the death penalty.

Walker ordered that he be held without bond, pending an Aug. 5 hearing. Clayton County Executive Assistant District Attorney Jason Green objected when Walker initially set Bun's preliminary hearing for July 28.

"We respectfully ask that the preliminary hearing not be set on July 28, as that is the day of Deputy Daly's funeral," said Green. Walker agreed, and scheduled that hearing for early August, after Daly's funeral.

Bun has been held in the Henry County Jail, out of respect for Daly and the Clayton County Sheriff's Office. Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer said he would house Bun as long as necessary.

In a show of solidarity for their fallen colleague, one side of the courtroom was filled with law enforcement officers. Just as many people, some believed to be relatives, sat on the opposite side, in support of Bun. They declined to speak to reporters.

Bun wore a red, jail jumpsuit and was shackled. There were medical staples in three places on his head, but the nature of his injuries was not discussed.

Bun is being represented by public defender, Lloyd Matthews, who told Walker that Bun is indigent and cannot afford to hire his own attorney.

Arrest warrants filed Thursday by agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation provide a bit more detail on what happened the day Daly died.

One warrant states that, at the request of the sheriff's fugitive squad, Daly stopped a black Honda Civic at the corner of East Fayetteville and Walker roads. Bun was a front-seat passenger, and had outstanding felony warrants in connection with the January armed robbery of a Forest Park store.

The warrant states that Bun exited the Honda as Daly approached. Police said Bun shot Daly several times with a Glock .40-caliber Model 23 semi-automatic handgun. He fled the scene, pursued by officers from the fugitive squad. Bun was found five-and-a-half hours later, less than a mile from the scene of the shooting.

Daly was struck above and below his body armor. He died later at Southern Regional Hospital.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Bun has confessed to shooting Daly, and to the January armed robbery.