Suspect in fire at Atlanta Wendy’s free on $10K bond

Natalie White is expected to make her first court appearance at noon Wednesday. (Photo: Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

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Natalie White is expected to make her first court appearance at noon Wednesday. (Photo: Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

A woman accused of setting fire to an Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant posted $10,000 bond late Wednesday afternoon, hours after her court appearance.

Natalie Hanna White, 29, was charged with first-degree arson on Saturday, a week after the restaurant ignited. The restaurant was torched the day after an Atlanta police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks in the parking lot.

As a condition of her bond, White was fitted with an ankle monitor before she could leave the Fulton County jail and must remain on house arrest. White was also told she must avoid all social media.

According to her arrest warrant, White set the fire by using a “torch made with a lighter and some type of can.” Appearing in court via video Wednesday, White’s attorney said she was not responsible for the fire.

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Tuesday afternoon, White was arrested outside of her attorney’s Buckhead office, according to the U.S. Marshals Service. She was booked into the Fulton County jail, where she was held overnight.

White, who has no known criminal record, is unemployed, booking documents showed.

Attorney Drew Findling, who is representing White, said he had been in contact since Sunday with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office to make arrangements for White to surrender. He declined to discuss specifics out of respect for Brooks’ family, but said White knew Brooks.

“She did know him,” Findling told The AJC. “They did have a close relationship.”

Findley asked that White receive a signature bond, but Magistrate Judge Todd Ashley denied the request. Ashley said he was concerned White was a danger to the community.

Findling told Ashley that White was a longtime resident of her community and a 2009 graduate of Norcross High School.

“She did not burn a building down,” Findling said during Wednesday’s hearing. “She did not set that building on fire.”

On the night of June 12, during a more than 40-minute interaction with two Atlanta police officers, Brooks told them he had been with a girlfriend whom he identified as Natalie White, according to police video footage. Garrett Rolfe, since fired, faces felony murder and other charges and remains in jail. Officer Devin Brosnan, facing charges of aggravated assault and violation of oath of office, was booked and released on a $50,000 signature bond last week.

White’s arrest came during the funeral for Brooks, held at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church.

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