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Julian Lewis’ family distraught after ex-trooper freed on bond in Screven County killing

Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 7:06 AM EST
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SYLVANIA, Ga. - A former Georgia state trooper has posted bond and been released from jail, where he’d been held in connection with the August shooting death of a driver.

The Screven County Sheriff’s Office confirms that former state trooper Jacob Thompson bonded out before noon on Monday with conditions.

He is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the shooting death of Julian Lewis following a traffic stop attempt.

Thompson was denied bail in September, but the judge reconsidered, allowing $100,000 bond.

Attorneys for the Lewis family as well as Lewis’ son shared their thoughts Monday afternoon on the judge’s decision.

“It does seem to fall in line with the trends that we’ve seen, where officers are not being held fully accountable, and being released on bonds. So there was no surprise there, but the outcome should have reflected justice, and having him stay in place behind bars until his day in court. That’s what should’ve happened. But where we look now is forward,” said Lewis’ son Brook Bacon.

Lewis’ widow spoke through her attorney.

“Although she may encounter Jacob Thompson in the grocery store or the community where they live-she is not going to be cowered in fear,” attorney Francys Johnson said. “But she is resolved to receive justice for her husband. who should be preparing for Christmas instead is sleeping in a grave.”

Attorneys representing the family noted a judge granting bond has no bearing on the merit of the facts of the case against Thompson.

“We look forward. We need to proceed to the trial, so that all of the evidence can be brought to light, and justice can be seen there,” Bacon said.

Still, the Lewis family’s legal counsel says the courts decision does leave questions.

There are conditions to Thompson’s $100,000 bond. He can’t leave the four-county area of the judicial circuit, possess weapons, violate any laws or come into contact with Lewis’ family or witnesses in the case, including members of law enforcement who may offer testimony.

An attorney representing the Lewis family points out a judge granting bond does not have any merit on the facts of the case.

“Courts are very careful about that, that you should not read anything into the fact that a defendant has been granted bond other than he meets criteria,” Johnson said.

According to the bond order, seven people testified in support of Thompson’s bond request, four of whom are current law enforcement officers.

Last week, the Lewis family filed paperwork in federal court giving the state notice of their intent to sue for Lewis’ death and a violation of his civil rights. The state has 30 days from that notice to respond before a lawsuit is filed.

From reports by WTOC and WRDW/WAGT.