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Restaurant-beating
suspect released from jail

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

A South Georgia man accused of beating and kicking a woman last month at a Morrow restaurant is free on bond.

Troy Dale West posted bond and was released from the Clayton County Jail Wednesday afternoon, according to jail officials.

Clayton County Superior Court Judge Geronda Carter granted West a bond of $320,500 Tuesday afternoon, following a bond hearing Tuesday morning, according to Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson.

Conditions of the bond require that West have no contact with the victims or witnesses in his case, wear an ankle monitor, and surrender his passport, Lawson said.

In addition, West is barred from Clayton County, except when attending court, going to the airport, or travelling on the interstate -- unless accompanied by his attorney -- according to Lawson.

West, 47, of Poulan, Ga., is accused of beating Army Reservist Tashawnea Hill, 35, of Jonesboro, Sept. 9. Prosecutors say West nearly hit Hill's 7-year-old daughter with the door as he was exiting the Morrow Cracker Barrel restaurant, while Hill and her daughter were entering the establishment.

According to police records, witnesses say Hill politely asked West to be more careful. West then attacked Hill, yelling racial slurs during the beating, witnesses told police. West is white, and Hill is black.

"I think his actions demonstrate that he is still a danger, and at risk to commit future crimes, and we believe he should have remained in jail," said Hill's attorney, Herbert Adams, after West was released from jail Wednesday.

"We were disappointed in the judge's decision to grant bond. We respect the judge's decision ... but we would have preferred that bond had been denied," Adams said.

Dozens of civil rights leaders and community activists packed the courtroom Tuesday, in support of Hill, during West's bond hearing. Several family members and friends of West's also attended the hearing.

West faces several charges, including felony aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and cruelty to children. The case could go to trial as early as Nov. 16, according to District Attorney Lawson.