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Bond reduced in murder case

By Walter Geiger Judge Tommy Wilson lowered the bond of alleged killer Joshua James Cox from $5 million to $1 million following a hearing Dec. 2 in Lamar superior court. Public defender Doug Smith renewed the arguments for bond that he brought up at a previous bond proceeding Oct. 21, noting Cox has significant ties to the community and, if released, will live with his parents who are current and former law enforcement officers. The parents, Smith continued, need Cox at home to help care for his six-year-old son, of whom he has custody, and a brother who has special needs. ’Excessive bail is prohibited by the U.S. and Georgia constitutions. We are here to seek a reasonable bond,’ Smith argued. Cox is statutorily eligible for a bond in that he has been in jail for more than 90 days without indictment. District attorney Richard Milam said indications are Cox will be indicted by the grand jury that meets later this month. He argued the Cox home is ‘filled with firearms’ and only a short distance from the home of the widow of Cox’s alleged victim. Milam recounted the facts of the case, noting Cox told officers he shot Donald Terrell Clark after the two had used drugs­including acid- and Clark turned into a vampire. Cox later went home and got into a physical fight with his parents, had to be subdued and was eventually arrested. ‘In setting bond you need to consider public safety. When he uses drugs, he is dangerous,’ Milam told Judge Wilson. Smith countered that Clark had sold drugs, including hallucinogenics, to Cox. ‘The victim in this case had prior felony convictions for dealing drugs,’ Smith continued. He also recounted the fact that Cox called 911 after the shooting though it was several hours before Clark’s body was found in the driveway of his home at 939 Chappell Mill Road. Noting he had seen video of his client’s altercation with his parents taken from a home security system, Smith told the judge he felt Cox was using PCP at the time of the incident. Toxicology results on Cox and Clark are still incomplete, he added. Judge Wilson asked what bond amount Smith was seeking and he asked for $250,000. The judge then set the bond at $1 million, down from the $5 million bond he set Oct. 21. ‘If you don’t like it, you can file an appeal. I’m not going any lower,’ Judge Wilson said. The judge then counseled Cox’s parents to leave him in jail for the holidays. ‘This is the season when folks out on bond get depressed and get in trouble. Even if you can make bond, you should think of leaving him in jail for the holidays. At least you will know where he is,’ he said. Multiple conditions go along with the bond, including those restricting Cox to his parents’ home and requiring that he wear an ankle monitor paid for by his family.

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