Attorneys for a suspect shot in the head during an armed robbery want him released from custody to continue expensive medical treatment under his parent's insurance, not Clayton County taxpayers.
Andre Elijah Shiver, who turns 19 today, was shot in the head during a struggle with Marcus Lively at Lively's Betony Woods Trail home in Jonesboro. Police said Shiver shot Lively first, in his right hand, and Lively fired back. When police arrived, they found Shiver near the road.
Shiver has been charged with aggravated assault and armed robbery in the Dec. 21 incident, but his injuries have kept him from making an appearance in court. A Clayton County Magistrate Court judge went to the hospital to conduct Shiver's first appearance hearing, said his defense attorney, Dwight Thomas.
As long as Shiver remains in custody, Clayton County taxpayers foot the bill for his medical costs. Thomas has tried several times to get him released.
"He is almost 'brain dead,' and no risk of escape or harm to anyone," said Thomas in a letter to Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell.
Thomas said it costs $22,000 a week to care for Shiver, not including an alleged $300,000 in emergency room services already billed to the county. Clayton also pays for a deputy to stand guard over Shiver "24/7," said Thomas.
During a Feb. 3 bond hearing, Magistrate Betrice Scott said she would approve a $20,000 bond based on his medical condition. The bond appears to have been withdrawn after Scott reviewed the medical records. Scott's bond order states "the medical records are not in accordance with a $20,000 bond."
Hannah Ward, one of Thomas' associate attorneys, said bond would be declined unless it was a signature bond, which means no money is required.
Clayton County Executive Assistant District Attorney Jason Green said his office is in favor of Shiver being released to the Shepherd Center, but not to the streets. Green said if Shiver recovers to the point he is released from the center, he would go straight to jail.
"Of course, the motivation is to save the county taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars," said Green.
The case is set for a preliminary hearing Thursday, and another bond hearing Friday. Thomas hopes for a satisfactory resolution.
"Andre's medical condition will continue to deteriorate if he is not transferred to the Shepherd Center," he said. "The hospital has said that he is beginning to show signs of withdrawal, regression, and cannot remember his parents' names. His parents have made arrangements for Andre to be transferred to the Shepherd Center, if and when he receives a bond."