By Curt Yeomans
Troy Dale West, Jr., the Poulan, Ga., man who is awaiting trial for allegedly beating an Army reservist at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Morrow last September, can not ditch his ankle monitor, a Clayton County Superior Court judge ruled on Tuesday.
On May 17, West's attorney, Tony Axam, filed a motion to have the ankle monitor removed, arguing that it created a financial hardship on West's family. West has to wear the monitor as he awaits trial in the alleged beating of Army Reservist Tashawnea Hill, at the Morrow restaurant on Sept. 9. The trial is scheduled to begin on July 19, according to Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson.
On Wednesday, Axam explained that the hardship comes from West having to pay a monitoring company to track his movements, via the ankle monitor. "Anytime you have to wear something, and you're not getting any benefit out of it, it's a financial hardship," Axam said.
West allegedly attacked Hill at the restaurant, after she told him that he had almost hit her daughter with the restaurant door as Hill was entering the establishment, and West was leaving, according to a Morrow Police report from the day of the incident.
West is facing one count of aggravated assault, two counts of battery, two counts of disorderly conduct, one count of false imprisonment, and one count of cruelty to children. He was ordered to wear the ankle monitor last October, as a condition of his bond.
Lawson said the monitor is necessary for law enforcement officers in Clayton County to know when West is nearby. "That's so we know when he comes into Clayton County," the district attorney said.
In the motion to have the ankle monitor removed, Axam said West did not pose a threat to the community, and would not pose a flight risk. In Carter's written order to deny the motion, however, she said West did not show up for the hearing to have the monitor removed.
Axam said, on Wednesday, that his client had been waived from appearing at the hearing, but Carter said that no written waiver could be found.
"In the absence of the request for a bench warrant and bond forfeiture, the defendant is warned that he is required to appear at all court hearings unless a waiver of his appearance is consented to by the parties, and granted by the court," Carter wrote.