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Bond denied for suspect charged in 8-year-old Secoriea Turner's killing

Julian Conley is the sole person charged in Secoriea Turner's death.

ATLANTA — A man charged with killing an eight-year-old girl on July 4 was denied bond on Friday morning.

Julian Conley is the sole person charged in Secoriea Turner's death. Conley was arrested about a week after Turner was shot and killed while riding in a car with her mom on University Avenue.

At the time of the shooting, tension was already flooding the neighborhood. A man had just been shot and killed by police a few weeks before. The night Turner was killed, there were reports of people trying to block the road.

Conley's previous attorney admitted the suspect was there that night but insisted he was not the one who fired the shot that killed the little girl. 

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During Friday's virtual hearing, his new attorney argued Conley is not a flight risk and should be granted bond. The state said Conley was already out on bond when this happened for allegedly throwing fireworks at a car in Cobb County several months before.

During the hearing, an advocate read a statement from Turner's family. 

"Secoriea will not get up today ... she was a dancer and belonged to a cheerleading group. We the family strongly oppose bond for the defendant."

The state says Conley's presence there that night is one reason that bond should be denied in the case.

"The defendant was a participant in attempting to create an autonomous lawless zone in the city of Atlanta while brandishing assault-style weapons, and the vehicles that attempted to enter that zone on a public street in the city -- if they did so in a manner that was without his authority -- they would brandish their firearms at the occupants of the vehicles," said Deputy District Attorney, Pat Dutcher.

Conley's previous attorney argued that while he was there, he was not the one who fired the shot that killed the little girl. 

His new attorney claims that bond should be granted since he turned himself in and has been locked up all this time.

"I would suggest to the court that he is not a flight risk in any sense of the word and that he is willing and able to follow any and all court directions," said public defender, Eric Cho.

The state countered that Conley was already out on bond when this happened for allegedly throwing fireworks at a car in Cobb County several months prior to the shooting incident.

"Mr Conley was present at the scene of this incident carrying an assault-style rifle, clearly in violation of his March bond out of Cobb County," explained Judge Emily Richardson. 

Judge Richardson continued, "I understand Mr. Cho's concern about the fact that defendants are being held in custody awaiting trial due to the pandemic, but that situation is affecting the entire state and the entire country and that alone does not merit the change in circumstances sufficient to this court to reconsider bond, so, for those reasons, the court is going to deny the motion to reconsider bond."

The state said this case will likely go before a Grand jury once Grand Jury hearings resume in March.

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