Verdict alert: Man found guilty of vehicular homicide for causing death of on-duty police officer
(Marietta, GA – May 25, 2023) Cobb County District Attorney Flynn D. Broady, Jr. announces that a Cobb County jury has found Robert Lorenzo Cox, age 38, guilty of one count of vehicular homicide by vehicle 1st degree, one count of failure to yield, one count of open container and one count of tampering with evidence. Superior Court Judge Julie Adams Jacobs presided over the trial.
The charges in the indictment arose out of an incident that occurred on April 20, 2020. Officer Christopher Ewing, a Smyrna Police officer, was working traffic enforcement at that time. After dispatch did not receive a response from Ewing, and 911 was receiving additional calls regarding an officer involved in an accident, fellow Smyrna officers responded to the accident scene. Smyrna officers found that Officer Ewing was involved in the traffic accident. Ewing noticed a speeding car and pulled onto South Cobb Drive in an attempt to initiate a traffic stop. Before Ewing could catch up to the vehicle, a Chevrolet Tahoe began to make a left hand turn in front of the police vehicle. Ewing attempted to avoid the turning vehicle but was unable to do so and the two vehicles collided. Because of the force of the crash, Ewing sustained internal injuries. First responders were able to extract Ewing from the vehicle, but he ultimately died from his injuries.
Georgia State Patrol was called in to investigate the crash. GSP Nighthawk officers responded to the scene quickly and conducted on scene interviews with eyewitnesses and the driver of the Tahoe, Robert Cox. The trooper with GSP spoke with Cox, and upon detecting the odor of alcohol, attempted to conduct sobriety field tests. Cox was then placed under arrest. Troopers secured a search warrant for Cox’s blood and it was drawn on scene. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation determined that Cox was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash. Georgia State Patrol’s Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) conducted a crash reconstruction investigation into the collision and determined Cox was at fault for the crash.
During the trial, testimony of the eyewitnesses, first responders and expert witnesses from the Georgia State Patrol SCRT unit was presented. Ewing’s dash camera video was also shown. The crash occurred in front of a gas station that had surveillance. That footage was also shown to the jury. GSP troopers explained the investigation and crash reconstruction. After almost two full days of deliberation, the 12-person jury found Cox guilty of 4 out of the 5 charges in the indictment.
Assistant District Attorneys Jay Winkler and Nolan Slifko prosecuted this case on behalf of the State of Georgia. After the verdict, ADA Winkler commented, “We hear often about the dangers of drinking and driving and this case was a tragic result of the Defendant’s choice to drive while under the influence, which cost Officer Ewing his life. My heart goes out to Officer Ewing’s family, friends and colleagues from the Smyrna Police Department, and I hope that they find some peace and comfort in this verdict.”
Attorney Gabe Banks represented Cox at trial. Cox, who was out on bond awaiting trial, was taken into custody of the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office after the trial and is awaiting sentencing, which is set for next month.