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”.

interstate 85 attorneys e1492100225677 I 85 Fire Suspects Attorneys Say Eleby Demonized By State

Atlanta Civil Rights Attorney Mawuli Davis is a member of I-85 fire suspect Basil Eleby’s defense team. (Credit: Maria Boynton/Local)

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 to report information. Eleby’s arraignment is set for Tuesday morning in Fulton County. 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.


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