ATLANTA - The man accused of starting a fire that caused the collapse of Interstate 85 has been released from the Fulton County Jail.
Basil Eleby, 39, was released just before 1 p.m. Wednesday. He was granted a $10,000 consent signature bond under a number of conditions during a court hearing on Tuesday.
As Eleby left the jail, FOX 5's Aungelique Proctor said the only question he would answer is that he's glad to be out.
Eleby is being charged with first degree arson and first degree criminal damage to property. Eleby's attorneys pleaded not guilty in the high profile case and have said he will not be used as a scapegoat in the case.
Following the March 30 bridge collapse, the fire department located 39-year-old Sophia Brauer and 57-year-old Barry Andrew Thomas. While conducting interviews with the two individuals in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Thomas stated he witnessed Eleby set a chair on fire after he placed it on top of a shopping cart. Investigators concluded that initial fire led to the collapse of the I-85 bridge.
Authorities located Eleby and said he had talked about smoking crack prior to the fire that broke under the I-85 bridge in an area where the state of Georgia stores noncombustible construction materials. He was subsequently arrested.
Tuesday morning, a Fulton County judge granted the suspect a $10,000 signature bond under several conditions.
Some of those conditions include: not violating any laws, having zero contact with any witnesses involved in the case, appearing in court when scheduled, not threatening any person or property, remaining 1,000 yards away from the I-85 crime scene except when accompanied by members of his defense team, remaining enrolled in treatment throughout the duration of the case, being subject to monthly drug screens through pretrial services and receiving gainful employment within 60 days after being released.
Eleby will also be housed at Michael and Michael Counseling and Consulting, where he'll get housing and receive mental health treatment.
At the hearing, Eleby's attorney entered a not guilty plea for him and arraignment was waived.
Following the hearing Tuesday, attorney Mawuli Davis said there are new witnesses in the case and Eleby will be able to play an active role in his defense.
If convicted, Eleby could face 25 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine. His next court appearance is scheduled for June 16, which is one day after the Georgia DOT anticipates I-85 reopening.