COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Antonio Austin was charged with murder last month in the Oct. 8 shooting death of Quinnton Tate.
Last week, News 3 was the first to tell you about the bond and report the fact that it had been revoked.
Last week, Sheriff Greg Countryman did not respond to multiple interview requests from WRBL about the reason for the bond and revocation, so we posed the question Monday during a news conference.
Countryman did not want to talk about how Austin got a bond set the same day he was booked into jail on murder charges.
“I was asked this question earlier and I said that story had already been covered,” Countryman said. “The person you are referring to is in the Muscogee County Jail. He’s never left the Muscogee County Jail. This is a press conference regarding crime suppression and our efforts in that.”
The bond was set by Superior Court Judge Ben Land, then revoked.
Nine days after the 42-year-old Tate was killed at Cross Creek Apartments in south Columbus, Austin was shot seven times off North Lumpkin Road.
Austin spent more than a week receiving treatment for seven gunshot wounds at Piedmont Columbus Regional. When he was released last Wednesday, he was arrested by Columbus police and taken to jail.
Here is what Acting District Attorney Sheneka Terry had to say.
“I can understand how it may have been confusing,” Terry said. “But I just want to assure you and the public that we have everything under control. And the DA’s office is working with the Sheriff’s Office to ensure things are done properly. And that Mr. Austin, who is accused of murder, will remain in the Muscogee County Jail, as I said before until he gets a bond or until he stands trial.”
News 3 talked to the victim’s mother last week. And Patricia Strong was clear, she did not want Austin released on bond.
The bond that was originally signed, then revoked, would have released Austin on his own recognizance, which means he would not have had to post bail.