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NATIONAL BRIEFING / GEORGIA

Ex-policeman pleads guilty

October 31, 2008|Times Wire Reports

A former Atlanta police officer pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges for his role in a botched drug raid that ended in the shooting death of a 92-year-old woman.

Arthur Tesler, who shot no one, faces more than 10 years in prison on a charge of conspiracy to violate civil rights resulting in death. He is to be sentenced in February.

Police originally said they had gone to Kathryn Johnston's home in 2006 after an informant bought drugs there. But after finding none, officers tried to cover up the mistake by planting bags of marijuana, prosecutors said.

Tesler is the only officer tried in the raid. Two other officers pleaded guilty to state and federal charges and never went to trial; they await sentencing.

In May, Tesler, 42, was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for lying to investigators. Federal prosecutors decided to pursue more charges after reviewing the case. Tesler's attorney said he did not want to put his family through another trial.

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