ATLANTA — Family members of a man prosecutors say was murdered by his Uber driver urged a judge to keep him behind bars. The judge did just that, denying bond for 36-year-old Nigel Nembhard.
Before that, the mother of shooting victim Kevin Fulton told the court how the death of her son has impacted her and her family.
“This is pain I would not want anyone else to experience,” stated Alecia Watson.
Watson said her family is devastated after the father of a 3-year-old was shot and killed back in June. She asked Fulton County Superior Court Judge Melynee Leftridge to not grant Nembhard a bond.
“We should not have to worry if this young man is getting out,” she said.
Nembhard faces murder and aggravated assault charges. Prosecutors say he was driving for Uber when he got into a verbal argument with his passengers on Monroe Drive. They say two of the passengers got out of the car. Police say
they approached the driver’s side of the car, where Nembhard remained in the driver’s seat.
“The defendant produced a handgun and shot them both,” said Assistant District Attorney Pat Dutcher.
Police say Nembhard killed Fulton and wounded Anthony Boyd.
Nembhard’s attorney, Jackie Patterson, says the men were intoxicated and were angry Nembhard didn’t change the music in the car quickly.
Patterson says the men got out and spat on his client and threatened to kill him while reaching for a gun.
“He was clearly in fear of his life,” Patterson told the court. He said that’s when Nembhard shot both men.
Patterson asked the court for a $50,000 bond, saying his client was not a threat and was not a risk to run. Prosecutors asked the judge to deny bond, saying he was a threat and a flight risk.
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The mother of Fulton’s son had the opportunity to speak directly to Nembhard before the judge made her decision.
“Because of your actions I am now a single mother. As if we don’t already have enough,” Brittany Banks said.
Judge Leftridge then announced her decision: “I’m going to deny bond in this case at this time,” she said.
Fulton’s family filed out of the courtroom, content he won’t be on the street for now. The judge said she will revisit the issue of bond at a hearing set for Sept. 24th.
Patterson said after court he respected the judge’s decision, but his client had a choice that night. Be carried to his grave by 6 or be judged by 12 in a court of law.
“He chose to save his own life and be tried by 12 in a court of law,” Patterson explained.
Prosecutors say Nembhard had another choice: not to carry a gun when he knew it was against Uber policy.
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