FULTON COUNTY, Ga. - The attorney representing a former UberEATS deliver driver accused of a killing a customer said he has video evidence the shooting was in self-defense.
Defense attorney Jackie Patterson said the case against his client, Roberts Bivines, should be thrown out as a result of the new evidence. Patterson shared the video with FOX 5 News.
Patterson said his client was engaged in an argument and the customer approached his car two times with a hand in his pocket. Bivines’ attorney claimed his client did not know whether the customer may have had a weapon in his clothing.
“He had his left hand in his pocket and told my client, ‘I am going to f--- you up’ and my client at that point, said ‘Oh my God’ in his mind, he thought he was about to be shot, so he defended himself by using his own weapon,” Defense Attorney Patterson remarked.
Bivines was charged earlier this year with the felony murder of 30-year-old Atlanta resident Ryan Thornton.
According to the Atlanta Police Department, Thornton ordered delivery from UberEATS Feb. 17 around and went outside The Concorde to pick up his food at around 11:30 p.m.
Bivines’ attorney claims the customer was the aggressor. Patterson said Thornton became upset because the delivery was late. The pair argued and Thornton snatched the food, according to the attorney. Patterson said the customer made a verbal threat, then made a motion reaching into his clothing. Bivines then drew his weapon, said Patterson.
Witnesses told investigators that he and the driver exchanged words and someone inside the car opened fire striking Thornton multiple times. The white Volkswagen then left the scene.
Paramedics transported Thornton to Grady Memorial Hospital where he later died. He was a graduate of Frederick Douglass High School and Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard disagrees the case should be thrown out. A statement from Howard sent to FOX 5 News reads:
"We believe the appropriate body who should determine the what the videotape in question depicts is a Fulton County jury and not this defendant."
Bivines continued to be held at the Fulton County Jail without bond Wednesday. His trial is scheduled for next month.