Public defender, Roberta Longmire covers the face of defendant, Joseph Alan Lewis, the 19-year-old Atlanta man who police say ran down and seriously injured a bicyclist on a northeast Atlanta street last month, appeared before a magistrate judge Thursday morning, July 17, 2014 and was denied bond. He will remain in the Fulton County Jail, where he is being held on nearly a dozen charges. Lewis' next scheduled court date is 9:30 a.m. July 31. Lewis' girlfriend, Shanelle Woodard, 22, of Atlanta, was granted $15,000 bond. She was arrested Wednesday and charged with tampering with evidence. JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM
Photo: John Spink
Photo: John Spink

Bond denied to suspect accused of running down bicyclist

Joseph Alan Lewis, the 19-year-old Atlanta man who police say ran down and seriously injured a bicyclist on a northeast Atlanta street last month, appeared before a magistrate judge Thursday morning and was denied bond.

He will remain in the Fulton County Jail, where he is being held on nearly a dozen charges, including criminal attempt to commit murder. Lewis’ next scheduled court date is July 31 at 9:30 a.m. at Fulton County Superior Court.

Lewis turned himself in at the Zone 2 Precinct at around 1:15 a.m. Thursday, said Atlanta Police spokeswoman Kim Jones.

Lewis declined to speak on his own behalf, but his lawyer, public defender Roberta Longmire, asked the judge to reconsider the bond decision based on a lack of witnesses to him driving the vehicle in question and this being Lewis’ first offense. The judge declined.

Lewis’ girlfriend, Shanelle Woodard, 22, of Atlanta, was granted $15,000 bond based on charges from her arrest Wednesday — $10,000 for felony hindering the apprehension of a criminal and $5,000 for tampering with evidence. She was visibly upset at the hearing, repeatedly saying, “I didn’t ask for this,” prompting her lawyer to cover her face with papers for the entirety of the short appearance.

Woodard’s attorney, Kenya Taylor, requested the judge to consider a signature bond for her client based on the argument the only evidence against her was driving to Wal-Mart and making a purchase. The judge said there was more in the warrant and denied the request.

Taylor said Woodard is a junior at Agnes Scott College with no prior criminal record, but J.D. Fite, a spokesperson for the college, said in an email that Woodard last attended Agnes Scott in May 2013.

Woodard turned herself in at the Zone 2 precinct at around 6:20 p.m. Wednesday, Jones said.

Police Wednesday evening announced that Lewis was the suspect in the June 9 attack on Gregory T. Germani, 50. Lt. Rod Woody said police are positive that the Dodge Nitro impounded June 23 was the one that hit Germani. Woody added that the Nitro is owned by Lewis.

“We did collect evidence at the scene that we were able to connect to the vehicle absolutely,” Woody said. “And we have some video evidence with (Woodard) tampering with evidence.”

Police also have a surveillance video of the moments before the June 9 incident. The nine-second video shows a red Dodge Nitro heading down Flagler Avenue in one direction before disappearing out of view. Next, a cyclist speeds down the street in the opposite direction, soon followed by the Dodge Nitro.

Police say the car hit Germani before speeding away.

Witnesses say that Germani and the driver of the vehicle engaged in a verbal dispute moments before Germani was hit. After which, Germani sped off down Flagler Avenue, as if fleeing the SUV, while the SUV took off after him, witnesses said.

Witnesses found Germani under a silver SUV parked along the curb in the 1800 block of Flagler Avenue, while the red SUV was seen speeding away, taking a right onto Rock Springs Road toward Piedmont Avenue.

Germani suffered serious injuries to the head, neck, and torso and was in intensive care at Grady Memorial Hospital for several weeks with brain trauma, but has been steadily improving, said his girlfriend, Beth Anne Harrill. He has since been released from Grady and is recovering in a private facility.

“He’s doing better,” Harrill said Wednesday. “He is beginning to say some words and he is making gradual improvements each day but it is going to be a long, long, long recovery for him.”

A Crime Stoppers reward fund for information in Germani’s case raised almost $18,000, and it was a tip from Crime Stoppers that led police to Lewis’ Dodge Nitro, Woody said.

Charges against Lewis listed on the Fulton jail website are criminal attempt to commit murder, reckless driving, hit-and-run, aggravated assault, aggressive driving, serious injury by vehicle, criminal damage to property, failure to report an accident, having an expired or no license and having an expired or no license plate or decal.

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