A Georgia man accused of killing two sheriff’s deputies as they tried serving a warrant pleaded guilty Thursday.
Christopher Golden pleaded guilty to murder and aggravated assault in the September deaths of Cobb County Sheriff’s deputies Jonathan Koleski and Marshall Ervin, Jr., according to Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady, Fox Atlanta reported.
Broady said he decided not to seek the death penalty after speaking with the families of the fallen deputies in an effort to avoid putting them through the series of court hearings that would have been needed to prosecute the case.
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“We made the mutual decision to complete the criminal case through a plea,” Broady said.
Golden faces consecutive life sentences without parole, plus 55 years.
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Ervin, Jr. and Koleski were killed at a home in the Marietta area while arresting a suspect wanted for theft, the sheriff’s office said. After a nearly four-hour standoff with law enforcement, Golden and another suspect, Christopher Cook, were taken into custody. Cook was charged with the alleged theft and Golden was charged with two counts of aggravated assault on an officer and murder.
Ervin, Jr., 38, was a father of two who joined the sheriff’s office in 2012. And Koleski, 42, was a U.S. Army Veteran who joined the force in 2007.
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Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens, Sr. said the killings of his deputies have changed the lives of those in his office.
“Three months ago, our lives were forever changed,” he said in a statement. “It’s an emotional day for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, for the team of deputies who were on the scene, and all of those who served with and knew Deputies Marshall Ervin and Jonathan Koleski.”