Atlanta attorney Mawuli Davis, one of several who have volunteered to represent Basil Eleby, tells me that one of the greatest challenges is the way their client “has been demonized, unfortunately, by the State”. Eleby is charged with setting the massive fire on March 30, 2017. It resulted in the collapse of a portion of I-85. Work continues to repair the bridge. Attorney Gary Spencer, also on the team representing Eleby says, “the fire did not start by one man”.
If convicted, Eleby faces 25 years in prison and a fine of $50,000. Critics believe that Eleby is a “scapegoat”. They believe that the state should share in the blame for the fire because of the materials that were stored underneath the bridge. The Georgia Department of Transportation says that spools of high-density polyethylene conduit were stored inside a fence under the bridge.
The team representing Eleby is asking anyone that knows anything surrounding the events of the fire and ultimate bridge collapse, to call 1-800-237-6872 or to log on to www.basileleby.org to report information. Eleby’s arraignment is set for Tuesday morning in Fulton County court. Participants with The Community Coalition in Support of Basil Eleby are asking the community to attend the hearing in a show of support for Eleby.