Attorneys for man accused of vandalism wants bond reduced
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The attorneys for Tondrique Fitzgerald said they are extremely upset over his bond amount and feel the District Attorney’s office should reduce it.
“There’s a vandalism, there’s a riot charge and then he had an old domestic assault where the young lady did not want to prosecute or said the facts stated by the police department were not true,” attorney Joy Kimbrough said.
Kimbrough strongly defended her client on Wednesday outside the courtroom. She believes the bond the 23-year-old was given is way too high.
“I just think this is some harsh treatment and I think they’re setting the tone for the way things are going to go for here on out,” Kimbrough said.
Fitzgerald has been charged with aggravated rioting and felony vandalism following Saturday’s protest. Fitzgerald is also charged with verbally encouraging others in the vandalism.
Police said Fitzgerald smashed a monument and used pieces to break windows. The police also alleged that Fitzgerald pulled a plaque off the courthouse wall. The plaque honors Diane Nash, a key figure in the lunch counter sit-ins downtown.
“Whoever the plaque was dedicated to, Ms. Diane Nash, I’m sure that when she marched she was marching for equality and justice, she doesn’t want to hear about a plaque. She wants to hear about justice that’s behind the plaque,” attorney Derrick Scretchen said.
Kimbrough told News4 that the bond is too excessive for the alleged crime.
“On the protest, the bond totaled $65,000, and we’ve spoken with the District Attorney’s office and they refuse to reduce the bond. They just will not reduce it. So we have to come back tomorrow and be heard by the judge,” Kimbrough said.
Scretchen compared Fitzgerald’s charges to Andrew Delke. Delke shot and killed Daniel Hambrick nearly two years ago following traffic stop near the intersection of 17th Avenue North and Jo Johnston.
“I think it’s important for the public to know in order to evaluate the reasonableness of this, you need to know that there’s a police officer who is free on a $25,000 bond who is charged with first degree murder. You compare that to a man who is charged with two of the lowest rate felonies that’s on record - vandalism and a riot charge - and combined, $65,000. Those are the type of valued judgements that just inspire rage out in the community,” Scretchen said.
The attorneys said the large bond shows a systemic problem in the criminal justice system.
News4 reached out to the District Attorney’s office to find out why the bond was so high. The DA’s office said the magistrate decided the bond amount.
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