ATLANTA — The woman accused of setting an Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant on fire after the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks posted $10,000 bail Wednesday, just hours after she faced a judge for the first time.
Natalie White, 29, surrendered to Atlanta police on Tuesday. White is accused of helping to set fire to the Wendy’s the night after Brooks was killed. She faces first-degree arson charges.
Earlier Wednesday, White appeared in front of a judge via video conferencing and wore a face mask.
White’s attorney, Drew Findling, argued for a signature bond, which would have allowed White out of jail for free. Findling said White’s family is broke and that they would have to rely on supporters to bail her out.
“There’s no criminal record,” Findling said. “She’s 29 years old. My phone is blowing up with people who would like to assist them.”
The judge denied the signature bond, disagreeing with Findling that White is not a danger to the community.
“If someone is alleged to have set fire to a building with other people around, whether or not the building was occupied or unoccupied, that would present a danger to firefighters if they were able to get to the scene,” the judge said.
The judge agreed to allow White to be released on house arrest as soon as she is outfitted with an ankle monitor. White will also have to stay off social media.
Protesters sent WSB pictures and video of a woman using what appeared to be an aerosol can to spread the flames.
White’s attorney said his client was close friends with Brooks, but the attorneys for Brooks’ family said they are unaware of any connection between the two.
Findling told WSB that White and Brooks were close friends, but that White did not start the fire.
“The obvious thing is that Natalie White did not start a fire,” Findling told the television station. “That is just silly. This was a fully-engaged fire. You can see people that are throwing what looks like Molotov cocktails in long before she’s even involved.”
© 2020 Cox Media Group