MOBILE, Ala. (WALA)-The mother of a man shot to death in her car last month watched stoically as a judge set bail for the accused killer Thursday and then struggled to regain her composure.
“He was granted bail, and it pains me what was said in the courtroom,” Jessica Wright told reporters outside the courtroom.
She said she wanted to issue a warning to parents who allow their children to have guns.
“Let’s get guns off the streets,” he said.
Wright’s son, Jamarcus Lewis, 27, was shot dead Sept. 24 while sitting in a car in the parking lot of the M&M Food Mart in Theodore. A police detective testified that investigators recovered four shell casings. He said a woman who was in the car with Lewis was not injured.
Defendant Anthony Malek Alston, who turned himself in Tuesday, has pleaded not guilty to murder. Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Lauren Walsh suggested the evidence against Alston is strong.
“The defendant is actually captured on surveillance footage at the time it happened,” he told Mobile County District Judge George Hardesty.
Walsh said the defendant and the victim knew each other in some way, but did not elaborate in or out of the courtroom.
Walsh recommended bail of $375,000, with a requirement that part of it be cash and that the defendant wear an electronic monitoring device. Defense attorney Maxine Walters responded with a request for a lower bond, $125,000.
“He has no priors,” he told the judge. “He is 19 years old. He has a job, he works in construction. He has family support; his mother is here.
Hardesty set bail at $360,000 and denied the request for a cash component and electronic monitoring.
As police led him into a patrol vehicle for the trip to the Mobile County Metropolitan Jail on Wednesday, the Irvington man denied the allegations. His lawyer on Thursday did the same,
“At this stage, we have not received any evidence so I cannot speak directly to any video, but I do know that Mr. Alston maintains his innocence,” he said.
After the hearing, Walers said his client would do whatever he could to post bail.
“We cannot control the link that they established, but Mr. Alston maintains his innocence,” he said. “He comes from a good family. He has a lot of support from them. We’re going to make the most of the amount he set for himself.
Walsh said he expressed disappointment that the judge did not agree to additional bail conditions.
“I would have preferred to see an electronic follow-up, based on the evidence we have in this case, but I’m glad you’ve provided the blanket number amounts we requested,” he said. “I would have liked to see a cash component and would also have liked to see ankle control added.”
Hardesty set Alston’s preliminary hearing for November 14 and mourned another victim of a violent crime.
“There are too many people in my hometown with guns who shouldn’t,” he said.
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