Crime

Bond denied for man charged with murder in deputy’s traffic death

Bond denied for man charged with murder Bibb deputy T.J. Freeman's death

Lawyers argued Thursday at a bond hearing for Martavius Kinder, 24, the man charged with murder in the May 5, 2016, traffic death of Bibb County deputy T.J. Freeman. Kinder allegedly led cops on a chase through Macon until he crashed into Freeman'
Up Next
Lawyers argued Thursday at a bond hearing for Martavius Kinder, 24, the man charged with murder in the May 5, 2016, traffic death of Bibb County deputy T.J. Freeman. Kinder allegedly led cops on a chase through Macon until he crashed into Freeman'

Authorities say Martavius T. Kinder drove 20 to 30 mph above the speed limit and had turned off his headlights before he ran a stop sign and struck a car driven by Bibb County Deputy T.J. Freeman.

Freeman died after the early morning crash May 5, and Kinder was charged with murder.

Kinder, 24, was denied bond during a Thursday hearing at the Bibb County jail. He’s being held at the Monroe County jail as he awaits trial.

He is charged with felony murder, fleeing or trying to elude a police officer, DUI and misdemeanor marijuana possession. He’s also charged with three counts of homicide by vehicle stemming from allegations of reckless driving, that he was driving under the influence of marijuana and that he eluded police.

A Bibb County sheriff's deputy and former Macon police officer Anthony Freeman died early Thursday, May 5, 2016, in a crash with a suspect on Columbus Road at Buena Vista Drive

In his argument requesting a bond for Kinder, who’s been in custody since the day of the crash, attorney Franklin J. Hogue said Kinder has deep family roots in Macon and was working for a cleaning company at the time of his arrest.

Kinder had been making plans to join the military. Not having a GED, he was trying to figure out if he could get it after joining the military or if he needed to get it before he joined, Hogue said.

Hogue argued that there’s no evidence Kinder would intimidate witnesses or flee the jurisdiction if he was granted a bond.

Prosecutor John Regan said the Georgia State Patrol has confirmed that Kinder had marijuana in his Toyota Camry as he led deputies on a chase from the Bloomfield Village shopping center on Eisenhower Parkway to the intersection of Columbus Road and Buena Vista Avenue, where he crashed into Freeman.

A Georgia State Patrol officer testifying at a May hearing in the case said Kinder told authorities he didn’t stop because he had pending warrants against him, didn’t have a driver’s license and knew he had marijuana in the car.

Testimony at Kinder’s commitment hearing showed he had stopped to ask occupants of an unmarked car — unbeknowingst to him they were police conducting surveillance — if they needed help. Regan said Thursday that the officers were working on a “special burglary detail.”

When they said no, Kinder drove off and the unmarked car followed him. A marked police car joined the chase later. Regan said Kinder had acted “suspiciously” before leaving.

Kinder has a “horrible driving history” dating to 2011 that includes speeding and driving with a suspended license, Regan said.

Kinder hasn’t had a driver’s license in several years. The car’s registration was expired, he said.

“His actions that day show that he’s a danger to the community,” Regan said in his argument against a bond being set. “He places himself above those that are around him and that would be on the streets, although he himself isn’t authorized to be on the streets.

“In this case it cost the life of deputy T.J. Freman.”

Kinder is set to be arraigned later this month.

Amy Leigh Womack: 478-744-4398, @awomackmacon

  Comments