Eric Sheppard's Attorney Speaks Out After 21-Year-Old Is Denied Bond

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Winnie Wright
June 3, 2015

Lowndes County, GA - Eric Sheppard's Attorney, Muwali Davis, spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News after his client was denied a bond.

Eric Sheppard was extradited from Tampa, and made his first appearance before a Lowndes County Magistrate Judge Wednesday afternoon.

Davis says because the hearing schedule was moved up, from the usual 4 p.m. to 1 p.m., he missed the hearing and Sheppard did not have an attorney present during his first court appearance.

In that hearing, a Lowndes County Magistrate Judge denied the 21-year-old a bond.

"We have filed a motion for bond, a motion for a preliminary hearing. We think that when we have the opportunity to lay out Eric's case in it's entirety, where the judge will have the chance to see some of the provisions we intend on putting in place for him, that he would reconsider granting a bond," says Davis.

He adds that Sheppard is being held in solitary confinement at the Lowndes County Jail per his team's request. That's because, he says, Sheppard has received multiple death threats.

No word on whether or not the request for bond will be granted.



Winnie Wright
June 3, 2015

Lowndes County, GA - Eric Sheppard, the man behind the recent flag protests at Valdosta State University, made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon at the Lowndes County Jail.

Eric Sheppard was denied bond by a Lowndes County Magistrate Judge in that hearing.

Sheppard was on-the-run for about a month after VSU police say they found a weapon in an abandoned backpack on campus. That weapon, they allege, belongs to Sheppard.

He was the figure-head of a controversial flag-stomping protest on the University's campus; videos from that protest went viral.

After the arrest warrant was filed by VSU, Sheppard fled Lowndes County, and was found in by U.S. Marshalls in Tampa.

"Eric Sheppard was brought in the Lowndes County this morning and he did have a first appearance here this afternoon at 1:00. The first appearance here is basically when he is informed of the charges that he's been charged with, which I think is possession of a firearm on VSU property", says Southern Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney, Brad Shealy.

Sheppard did not enter his plea of guilty or not guilty Wednesday. The DA's office says depending on when they get the case file, Sheppard could get on a trial calendar as soon as next month.



By: WCTV Eyewitness News
June 3, 2015 - 4:32 p.m.

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Eric Sheppard was transferred this morning by deputies from the Hillsborough County Jail to the Lowndes County Jail. He has since appeared in the Lowndes County Magistrate Court for an arraignment hearing. At that hearing, the judge denied a bond for Eric Sheppard.

Eric Sheppard will remain in the Lowndes County Jail until a bond is set.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
June 3, 2015

VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Eric Sheppard is now in custody in the Lowndes County Jail.

He is charged with Carrying a Weapon within a School Safety Zone.

Sheppard was arrested in Tampa, Florida last Thursday after a search that lasted over a month and he has since been extradited to Lowndes County.

He is widely known for walking on the American flag at a Valdosta State University protest and accused by Valdosta authorities of having a gun on campus and making threats against law enforcement.

Sheppard is listed as "not bailable" by the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. He is set to make his first appearance in court today.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
May 29, 2015

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The attorney of Eric Sheppard says that Sheppard is "not a threat to the community" and he's "merely a college kid trying to figure out life under some extraordinary circumstances."

Sheppard is widely known for walking on the American flag at a Valdosta State University protest and accused by Valdosta authorities of having a gun on campus and making threats against law enforcement.

Sheppard appeared before a Florida judge today and voluntarily waived his right to an extradition hearing.

According to the Davis Bozeman Law Firm in Atlanta, Georgia, an attorney with the firm traveled to Tampa last night to meet with Sheppard at the Hillsborough County Jail.

Muwali Davis, Sheppard's attorney, issued the following statement:

Eric's decision not to fight extradition coupled with his peaceful surrender when arrested, confirms Eric is not a threat to the community. Unfortunately, what appears to be lost in the coverage of Eric's activism as a student is that he is merely a college kid trying to figure out life under some extraordinary stressful circumstances. Physically he is fine, but mentally he is exhausted from living under the constant fear for his life as a result of the death threats and the bounty placed on his life by self-proclaimed "white supremacist" individuals and organizations. He does not wish anyone any harm and was reacting to the very aggressive and hostile threats of violence against him and the people close to him.

Eric has never been arrested or in any trouble. Even law enforcement authorities in Valdosta have dismissed statements they have made recently regarding Eric as a "publicity stunt". Eric and his family would like to thank everyone who has prayed for his safe return to Georgia. He looks forward to learning from this experience and having an opportunity to properly process and address everything that has happened after he exercised his 1st Amendment right by engaging in public protest and freedom of speech. He remains committed to being a positive agent of change and helping improve the conditions under which many people in our society continue to struggle in.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
May 28, 2015

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that Eric Sheppard was arrested in Tampa, Florida Thursday morning without incident.

Sheppard is widely known for stomping and walking on an American flag during a protest at Valdosta State University in April.

According to arrest records, 21-year-old Sheppard was arrested around 11:15 a.m. Thursday in the 2000 block of Balfour Court in Tampa.

An arrest warrant had been out for Sheppard since deputies found a gun that belonged to him in a backpack on Valdosta State University's campus in late April.

Sheppard had previously walked and stomped on an American flag on campus in protest.

The protest became a national story when video surfaced of veteran Michelle Manhart being detained after she took the flag from Sheppard.

Sheppard was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail where he will have an extradition hearing "in the near future" deputies say.

Sheppard will eventually be transported to Lowndes County for a court hearing.

After Lowndes County deputies believed Sheppard had fled the county, U.S. Marshals assisted in locating him.