A man accused of killing a dog in an incident captured on video will remain out of jail on bond for at least 10 more days after a DeKalb County prosecutor’s mistake led to his release.
Mekhi Jackson, 21, of Atlanta, was identified by investigators March 17 as the man seen beating a dog on a widely shared video, according to DeKalb police. Detectives posted photos of Jackson and he was arrested later that day. The dog did not survive, police said.
According to online jail records, Jackson was granted bond Saturday after his first court appearance. His attorney, Ryan Meck, said Jackson was released Wednesday after he was able to post bond.
During Friday morning’s virtual bond hearing, Meck objected to the proceedings and requested an in-person bond hearing for Jackson in 10 days. State prosecutor Shannon Hodder, a deputy chief assistant district attorney, disputed the objection, but Meck noted that her office asked that Jackson be granted bond Saturday.
“A less experienced attorney who was handling first appearance hearings made a mistake at that hearing,” Hodder responded. “That mistake should not result in someone who is clearly a danger to the community and a risk to commit felonies to be out on bond, so we’d like to be heard today.”
“Regardless of the experience, the judge on Saturday agreed to grant Mr. Jackson the bond,” Meck said.
Meck added that after Jackson posted bond Wednesday, “The state immediately filed to revoke his other bond where he’s been out for 14 months without indictment. We’re just requesting an in-person hearing in approximately two weeks.”
After hearing both arguments, DeKalb Superior Court Judge Vincent Crawford said he would grant the in-person hearing, allowing Jackson to remain free for now.
In addition to his recent arrest on animal cruelty charges, Jackson remains embroiled in an open case stemming from a drive-by shooting outside of McNair High School in January 2022. He is accused of serving as the driver while a 15-year-old passenger fired multiple gunshots at the DeKalb school, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.
Jackson was arrested several days after the shooting on three felony counts of aggravated assault and one count each of marijuana possession and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, court records show. According to jail records, he was released on bond Jan. 29, 2022, just two days after his arrest.
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