JONESBORO — A Clayton County jury was expected to be seated late Tuesday afternoon to hear evidence in the trial of a McDonough woman charged with murder and other felonies in the death of a police officer.
Prosecutors acknowledge Lisa Ann Lebis, 41, didn’t fire the shot that killed Clayton County police officer Sean Callahan but under Georgia’s party to a crime law, she was charged with felony murder. She also faces 15 other counts, including disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property, obstruction of an officer, simple battery, illegal possession of weapons and possession of weapons by a convicted felon.
District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson, who is prosecuting the case with Assistant District Attorney Jeff Gore, said Monday that jury selection would continue into late Tuesday afternoon. Trial Judge Albert Collier held a calendar call hearing to make up for days missed because of last week’s inclement weather, which slowed Monday’s proceedings.
Callahan, 24, and his partner, Waymondo Brown, answered a domestic violence call at Motel 6 in Stockbridge Dec. 17, 2012. They met with two female motel workers who alleged Lisa Lebis screamed at them in an obscenity-laced tirade over money.
Lebis and her husband, Tremaine Lebis, had been renting a room but allegedly ran out of money and were asked to leave. Workers also alleged they damaged the room.
When Brown and Callahan tried to take the couple into custody, they allegedly resisted and Tremaine Lebis ran around a building, pulling a handgun from his waistband, said prosecutors. Lebis allegedly fired once at Callahan, hitting him in the neck. A second officer returned fire and killed Lebis. Callahan died the next day.
As Brown rendered first aid to Callahan at the bottom of a 20-foot embankment, Gore said Lisa Lebis stood at the top, screaming and yelling at him.
Gore said Brown was forced to stop rendering aid and pull his weapon on Lebis to get her to shut up. As Brown treated Callahan, other officers arrived and tried to take Lebis into custody. She is charged with kicking one officer in the chest and with obstruction of another.
When officers searched the room, they reportedly found guns, pipe rockets and silencers — none of which the convicted felons were allowed to possess, Gore said.
Lebis has an extensive criminal history that includes at least four felony convictions. That makes her eligible for a sentence without the possibility of parole under Georgia’s “three strikes” law.
If she is convicted of murder, she faces prison for life without parole. If she is convicted on all the charges except murder, she will spend a maximum of 52 years in prison without parole. She is being represented by defense attorney Kenneth Ellis.
Tremaine Lebis had spent 15 years in prison before being released in May 2012, just seven months before the shooting.