SCREVEN CO., Ga. (WTOC) - A former state trooper charged in a felony murder case was granted a $100,000 cash or property bond on Monday.
The Screven Co. Sheriff’s Office confirms that former state trooper Jacob Thompson bonded out before noon on Monday with conditions.
He is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the shooting death of Julian Lewis following a traffic stop attempt.
Monday afternoon, attorneys for the Lewis family as well as Lewis’ son shared their thoughts on the judges decision.
“It does seem to fall in line with the trends that we’ve seen, where officers are not being held fully accountable, and being released on bonds. So there was no surprise there, but the outcome should have reflected justice, and having him stay in place behind bars until his day in court. That’s what should’ve happened. But where we look now is forward,” said Lewis’ son Brook Bacon.
Attorneys representing the family noted a judge granting bond has no bearing on the merit of the facts of the case against Thompson.
“We look forward. We need to proceed to the trial, so that all of the evidence can be brought to light, and justice can be seen there,” said Bacon.
Still, the Lewis family’s legal counsel says the courts decision does leave questions.
“The troubling part of this is that the family wonders if the shoe were on the other foot, and Mr. Lewis was alive, would he be released,” said Lewis Family attorney Mawuli Davis.
There are conditions to Jacob Thompson’s $100,000 bond. He can’t leave the four county area of the judicial circuit, possess weapons, violate any laws or come into contact with Lewis’ family or witnesses in the case, including members of law enforcement who may offer testimony.
An attorney representing the Lewis family points out a judge granting bond does not have any merit on the facts of the case.
“Courts are very careful about that, that you should not read anything into the fact that a defendant has been granted bond other than he meets criteria,” said Lewis family attorney Francys Johnson.
According to the bond order, seven people testified in support of Thompson’s bond request, four of whom are current law enforcement officers.
Last week the Lewis family filed paperwork in federal court giving the state notice of their intent to sue for Lewis’ death and a violation of his civil rights. The state has 30 days from that notice to respond before a lawsuit is filed.