By Kathy Jefcoats
JONESBORO — In an unusual move, the Clayton County district attorney wants to hold a woman responsible for the death of a police officer allegedly killed by her husband, who also died in the December shoot-out.
Lisa Ann Lebis, 40, has been in the Clayton County Jail since her arrest on charges related to the Dec. 17 shooting of Clayton County police Officer Sean Callahan. Lebis' husband, Tremaine Lebis, 41, shot Callahan, said police. Callahan's partner returned fire, killing Lebis at the scene. Callahan died the next day.
Officers had responded to Motel 6 in Stockbridge in reference to a domestic violence call. While trying to take the couple into custody, Tremaine Lebis broke free and ran around the building, police said. When Callahan gave chase, Lebis shot him, said police.
Lisa Lebis allegedly resisted officers and was arrested and charged with simple battery, obstruction of an officer, theft by receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and first offender probationer. She sported a black eye when she made her first appearance in Clayton County Magistrate Court in December.
District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said prosecutors presented the case against Lebis to the grand jury Wednesday and got her indicted on 16 counts including felony murder. Under Georgia law, accomplices can be charged with murder if someone dies during the commission of a felony even if they didn't physically commit the act.
Lawson said the date of the indictment is significant.
"It's Peace Officers Memorial Day," she said Wednesday. "It's only fitting that she be indicted on the day we honor fallen police officers."
There was no evidence presented at Lebis' preliminary hearing that she was armed during the shoot-out but officers found weapons in the motel room, which was registered in her name. The indictment alleges that Lisa Lebis was a party to the crime of murder, in that she, "along with Tremaine Lebis, did cause the death of Officer Sean Callahan, which in the commission of a felony offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon."
The indictment further alleges that the couple jointly possessed a Glock .357-caliber handgun after both had been convicted separately of aggravated assault. Prosecutors allege Callahan was shot and killed with that handgun.
Lisa Lebis was also indicted on two counts of disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property in the second degree, five counts of obstruction of an officer, simple battery, theft by receiving stolen property, two counts of possession of a dangerous weapon and three counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
At a March bond reduction hearing, Clayton County Chief Assistant District Attorney Erman Tanjuatco listed 17 incidents in Lebis' criminal background, going back to a 2001 arrest in Spalding County for financial transaction card fraud. Her record includes theft by taking, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, DUI, false report of a crime and probation violation.
Callahan, 24, of Kennesaw is the first officer from Clayton County Police Department to die by gunfire in the line of duty. At the time of his Dec. 18 death, he was the second countywide officer in Clayton to die in 17 months.
Clayton County sheriff's Deputy Rick Daly, 55, was shot and killed July 20, 2011, during a traffic stop. His killer, Jonathan Bun, was convicted last year and is serving life in prison. Daly was the first countywide officer to die by gunfire in the line of duty in Clayton.
Both men have been honored by the inclusion of their names on the Georgia Law Enforcement Moving Memorial wall.
The memorial, sponsored by the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club Chapter 7, commemorates men and women who died serving their communities in Georgia.
n 1962, President Kennedy signed a proclamation that designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week. Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, D.C., to participate in a number of planned events that honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.