Photo by Heather Middleton
By M.J. Subiria Arauz
Robert Allen Bethune, 21, of Ellenwood, had his preliminary hearing waved on Tuesday afternoon, at the Harold R. Banke Justice Center, in Jonesboro, because the state of Georgia consented to a bond, said Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson.
Chief Judge Daphne Walker, of the Clayton County Magistrate Court, said Bethune will receive a $50,000 bond for allegedly furnishing a pistol to a person under 18 years old, and $5,000 bond for allegedly contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
That minor is 15-year-old Kevin Kosturi, the alleged shooter who is accused of killing his reported girlfriend, Angel Freeman, 16, with a fatal shot to the chest. The victim's body was found in a wooded area in Ellenwood, on Feb. 21.
Freeman's family opposed the bond, and would not comment on the matter.
"Justice was served ... he is ready to come home," said William Maddox, the former stepfather of Bethune.
"My condolences go out to [Freeman's] family and Kevin's [Kosturi's] mother," added Bethune's mother, Sherry Sinclair.
In addition to the bonds, Chief Judge Walker said Bethune will have an ankle bracelet with a global-positioning-system (GPS) device, so that authorities can track his location. He will have to wear the bracelet until his trial, she said.
During this time, Bethune must follow various rules, including not contacting any individuals under the age of 21, not using any social-networking media, and surrendering all of his firearms to the Clayton County Police Department, according to Walker. He must also abide by all of the state's laws, and stay in Georgia, the judge said.
Walker said Bethune will have a curfew from 8 p.m., to 6 a.m., unless he must attend school, church, work or meet with his attorney.
"At least we have some capability to know where he is before his trial," said Walker.
District Attorney Lawson said the next step is to prepare the case for indictment, within six months.
Kosturi's preliminary hearing was also scheduled for Tuesday, but his lawyer, John Cicala, Jr., requested a continuance, which was granted by Walker.
Walker said Kosturi's preliminary hearing will now be held on March 22, at 3 p.m., in room No. 201, at the justice center. The bond hearing will occur on March 25, at 8 a.m., in the same location, she said.
Lawson said Kosturi will be tried as an adult.