ATLANTA - The man accused of starting the fire that lead to the I-85 bridge collapse was granted a $10,000 bond Tuesday morning.
Basil Eleby is charged with first-degree arson and criminal damage to property in the March 30 incident. The interstate collapse caused damage that will cost several million dollars to fix and has made traveling through the city difficult for thousands of drivers.
Eleby’s bond came with a long list of conditions that include participation in a drug treatment program, bi-weekly drug screenings and maintaining housing and a job.
He is also ordered to stay 1,000 feet away from the collapsed portion of the I-85 bridge, unless accompanied by his legal team, and 200 yards away from any witnesses of the state. He cannot have direct or indirect contact with any witnesses.
Among other conditions of his bond, Eleby will undergo drug treatment at an alcohol and drug treatment program. He will live at the program and undergo mental health treatment, according to a representative from Michael and Michael Counseling and Counseling LLC who was at the hearing.
Fulton County Judge Ural D. Glanville said the court wishes he maintain employment throughout his treatment.
“It is the courts desire that you not only get treatment but you also go ahead and get employment,” Glanville said.
At the beginning of the hearing, it came to light that several lawyers were called to represent Eleby before the current group of lawyers became his official team.
An attorney for Eleby said he was overwhelmed by the number of people in court to support him. Several groups organized rallies of support for Eleby and encouraged people to pack the courtroom.
“He was extremely thankful. He was very, very overwhelmed at the community’s support,” Attorney Mawuli Davis, said.
Davis said Eleby “has been very frustrated that he has been incarcerated on something that he believes he did not do and so he is very relieved ad ready to start anew.”
Eleby's attorneys spoke to 11Alive Monday and said they don't even concede Eleby set the fire. They plan on disputing witness claims that their client started the fire.
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