ATLANTA — The woman accused of setting a Wendy’s restaurant on fire after the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks posted a $10,000 bond Wednesday, just hours after she faced a judge for the first time.
Natalie White, 29, surrendered to Atlanta police on Tuesday. White is accused of helping to set fire to the Wendy’s the night after Brooks was killed. She faces first-degree arson charges.
Channel 2′s Matt Johnson learned she was released from the jail just before 8 p.m. Wednesday into the custody of her mother.
Earlier Wednesday, White appeared in front of a judge via videoconferencing and wearing a face mask.
White’s attorney, Drew Findling, argued for a signature bond, which would have allowed White out of jail for free. Findling said White’s family is broke and they would have to rely on supporters to bail her out.
“There’s no criminal record,” Findling said. “She’s 29 years old. My phone is blowing up with people who would like to assist them.”
The judge denied the signature bond, disagreeing with Findling that White is not a danger to the community.
“If someone is alleged to have set fire to a building with other people around, whether or not the building was occupied or unoccupied, that would present a danger to firefighters if they were able to get to the scene,” the judge said.
The judge agreed to allow White to be released on house arrest as soon as she is outfitted with an ankle monitor. White will also have to stay off social media.
Findling told Channel 2 Action News that White and Brooks were close friends, but that White did not start the fire.
“The obvious thing is that Natalie White did not start a fire,” Findling said. “That is just silly. This was a fully-engaged fire. You can see people that are throwing what looks like Molotov cocktails in long before she’s even involved.”
In bodycam video from the night Brooks was killed, he told officers that a woman named Natalie White was his girlfriend.
The attorneys for Brooks’ family say they are unaware of any connection between the two.
Protesters sent Channel 2′s Audrey Washington pictures and video of a woman using what appeared to be an aerosol can to spread the flames.
There is at least one other suspect investigators are looking for in this case. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477. There is currently a $10,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
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