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Additional bond set in Tara Center incident

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Clayton County Magistrate Judge Betrice Scott set bond at $32,000, on Wednesday, for three new charges facing Rex resident, Christopher Green, who is accused of running over a Clayton County sheriff's deputy's foot, at the Tara Center, in Jonesboro, last week.

Scott told Green his bond was being set at $500 for a misdemeanor charge of failure to obey an officer directing traffic, $1,500 for a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving, and $30,000 for a felony charge of serious injury by a motor vehicle. Green is scheduled to appear in court again, on Aug. 19, for a preliminary hearing, the judge said.

Green's attorney, John Turner, said Green's family may have trouble getting the bond money together, to get him out of jail. Turner was an executive assistant district attorney under former Clayton County District Attorney Jewel Scott (not related to Judge Betrice Scott). John Turner and Jewel Scott are now partners in the Scott and Turner Law Group, LLC, which is based out of the Tara Center.

"I don't think he'll be able to make the bond," Turner told the judge. "We will be filing for a bond reduction."

The incident is a little more complicated than simply the allegation that Green ran over Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Farley's foot last Friday, however. Farley has been placed on administrative leave, with pay, because he fired his gun into Green's 2001 Ford Taurus, after his foot was allegedly run over.

Outside the courtroom, on Wednesday, Green's mother, Cynthia Wimberly, and his sister, Keisha Brooks, questioned the story coming out of the Sheriff's Office that Farley shot into the car, after his foot was run over. They want the charges against Green dropped.

On Tuesday, Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough told the Clayton News Daily that his office was "clear" that Farley shot into the car while "fearing for his life," after his foot was run over. Farley was acting as backup to Clayton County police officers who were responding to a party that was being held at the Tara Center, without a permit.

On Wednesday, Kimbrough said his office is still conducting an internal investigation into the incident, and declined to comment further.

Wimberly and Brooks said Green could not have accelerated the car to run over Farley's foot, because the promoter of a party held that evening at the Tara Center, was leaning in the driver's side of the car and talking to Green. They also said Green could not go anywhere because the parking lot was full of people. The warrants for Green's arrest state that there were "50, to 100" people standing in front of the car when the tire rolled over Farley's foot.

"If anything, it would have had to be inching along," Brooks said. She also questioned why Farley's foot was in front of the tire, when the warrant for Green's arrest states the deputy was hit by the car's bumper before the tire rolled over his foot. "If something hits my leg, I'm going to step back to see what just hit me," the sister said. "I'm not going to stick my foot out in front of me where it can get run over."

As for Farley's gun firing into Green's car, Wimberly said her son told her, afterward, that he initially thought he was dead after the gun went off. "He told me that not until he blinked, did he know he was still alive," the mother said.

Wimberly called Farley's handling of the incident "horrible," and said he should have taken a different approach to addressing her son. "He had other actions he could have taken," she said.

Now, Wimberly wants the Sheriff's Office to fire the deputy for shooting his weapon inside the car. "I mean it," she said. "When I say I want his [expletive], I mean I want his job," Wimberly said.

Green is facing an additional charge of aggravated assault, for which he had a first appearance hearing on Sunday. Bond for that charge was set at $50,000, and Turner said the youth's family had gotten the bond money together, and he was about to get out of jail, when the three additional charges were added.

"I'm a little upset that they waited to add on the three additional charges," Turner said. He later added, "It's a little unusual, and basically not fair. They should have put that on in the beginning."