A judge this morning set a $200,000 bond for soldiers accused of tossing grenade simulators into a Dawsonville crowd earlier this month.
A lawyer for one of three Dahlonega soldiers said his client cannot pay the $200,000 bond set by Northeastern Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Jason Deal.
"I really don’t see how he can do it," said Ridge Rairigh, who represents 34-year-old Jeremy Wade Morgan, an Army staff sergeant at Camp Frank D. Merrill in Dahlonega.
Morgan, who lives in Dawsonville, was arrested along with Spc. Nicholas Gregory Wendt, 25, and Sgt. Thomas Daniel Campbell, 21, Aug. 8 after tossing two Army-issued training grenade simulators into a crowd of 16 people in the Ingles parking lot on Ga. 400 in Dawsonville. All three soldiers are stationed at Camp Frank D. Merrill, an Army ranger training facility in Dahlonega.
The crowd included a 7-month-old who was in a stroller and an 18-month-old toddler who was sleeping in the back of a parked truck.
Deal said he realizes the $200,000 bond set for Wendt and Morgan is high, but warranted due to the serious nature of the crime.
"This is an appropriate bond for someone charged with 16 counts of aggravated assault and cruelty to children," Deal said.
In addition to the felony aggravated assault and two cruelty to children counts, the pair is also charged with domestic terrorism, possession of destructive devices and possession, transportation or use of a destructive device with intent to intimidate and 16 misdemeanor reckless conduct charges.
Deal said he would revisit the bond amount in a few weeks if the defendants could not raise the money.
Campbell, who authorities say was driving the car in which Wendt and Morgan were traveling, was not scheduled to be in court this week.
Camp Merrill Company Commander Capt. David Nelson said the three soldiers work in support roles at the camp and are not training as Rangers.