Accused bridge burner: ‘Thanks to everybody for their support’

11:23 a.m. Monday, June 19, 2017 AJC Homepage
6/16/17 - Atlanta, GA - Basil Eleby stands with his attorneys during a brief press conference after his hearing. Eleby, the once-homeless man accused to setting the fire that brought down a section of Interstate 85, appears in court for a status hearing. The state plans to file a new indictment to more accurately depict what happened during the incident, and make some changes to the charges against Eleby. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Basil Eleby -- the man accused of setting the fire that led to the collapse of a section of Interstate 85 in Atlanta -- spoke publicly for the first time last week.

At a status hearing on Friday, Eleby looked far different than the homeless, disheveled 39-year-old accused 2 ½ months ago of starting the I-85 bridge fire on March 30.

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This time in court, Eleby sported a black suit and tie.

After the hearing, he spoke for the first time publicly, speaking softly to reporters: “Thanks to everybody for their support.”

Read more about the case against Eleby at


Basil Eleby, charged in I-85 fire, thanks supporters after hearing.