‘I didn’t ask for this’ – First hearing in cyclist case

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt July 17, 2014
Atlanta Police escort Shanelle Woodard, 22, to a waiting police van on July 16.  Woodard is accused of helping Joseph Alan Lewis conceal evidence in the case of an aggravated assault against a cyclist. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

Atlanta Police escort Shanelle Woodard, 22, to a waiting police van on July 16. Woodard is accused of helping Joseph Alan Lewis conceal evidence in the case of an aggravated assault against a cyclist. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

This story has been updated. 

Two people accused of concealing a crime that landed a local cyclist in the hospital had their first court appearance today, hours after they were arrested.

Joseph Alan Lewis, 19, is accused of deliberately running down cyclist Greg Germani on June 9. The incident occurred on Flagler Avenue in Atlanta’s Piedmont Heights community. His girlfriend, Shanelle Woodard, 22, is accused of helping him conceal the crime.

Both appeared before a magistrate at the Fulton County jail. Woodard was arrested on July 16 and Lewis was arrested in the early morning hours of July 17. Lewis, who is charged with attempt to commit murder among other alleged offenses, was not granted bond. The judge set the bond for Woodard at $15,000 and she is to have no further contact with Lewis.

Woodard sobbed loudly in the courtroom while her attorney covered her face. She said, “I didn’t ask for this.”  Lewis sat in the corner and didn’t speak during the hearing.

Woodard’s attorney pleaded with the judge, saying she is a junior at Agnes Scott College in Decatur with no prior criminal record. A spokesman for the college contacted Decaturish after this article was published and said Woodard withdrew from the school in May of 2013.

The attorney said the only evidence police have against Woodard is that she drove her vehicle to Walmart. The circumstances surrounding that evidence were not explained during the hearing, and police have released few other details.

“She had no idea what was going on,” the attorney said.

The judge disagreed, telling Woodard’s attorney “there’s a lot more (evidence) than that” in the case against Woodard.

Lewis’ attorney argued for bond, saying that there were no witnesses who could positively identify Lewis as the driver of the vehicle. Like Woodard, Lewis has no criminal record, the attorney told the judge. The judge said because Lewis is charged with attempted murder, there would be no opportunity for bond at the first hearing.

At the end of the hearing, Woodard’s attorney escorted her out of the room, still covering her face as she wailed.

“I didn’t do anything,” she said. “I didn’t do anything.”

The next court hearing in this case will be on July 31.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified where the assault took place. It was in Piedmont Heights, which is near Morningside. 

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Craig

    Dan, great article (Flagler is not in Morningside).

    • Craig, you’re the first person who has raised that with me. Looking at Google Maps, it’s just outside of the Morningside boundary. I was basing my interpretation of it on other media reports. I’ll update the article to say it was near Morningside, but I’m curious: what neighborhood would you say this happened in? Thanks for the kind words.

      • Scott

        It’s either Ansley Park or Piedmont Heights. I’d say Piedmont Heights, although it’s at the bottom of the “heights”.

        • Well, I’ll be damned. I am looking at the map now. Yep. Piedmont Heights, looks to be. Can’t believe I’ve gone this long without realizing that. I appreciate y’all calling it to my attention.

          • Craig

            Thanks (took me a while to check back). Looking forward to an update from the next court date.

  • as

    i feel bad for the girl, she was not in the car…

  • foozle

    my guess is this is an attempt to motivate her to discuss the whole situation with the prosecutors. they need a witness who can say who was driving the vehicle or this will not go right. let’s make a deal….

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