Judge will not revoke bond for ex-officer charged with murder of Rayshard Brooks

Garrett Rolfe (Fulton County Sheriff's Office)

The former Atlanta police officer charged in the deadly shooting of Rayshard Brooks will not have his bond revoked.

Superior Court Judge Jane C. Barwick issued the ruling Wednesday in response to a motion filed last week by the Fulton County district attorney arguing the former officer violated the conditions of his bond by going on an out-of-state vacation.

Garrett Rolfe was granted a $500,000 bond on June 29 under certain conditions. Among those conditions set by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jane Barwick's order was Rolfemust have a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew other than "medical, legal or work" and to wear an ankle monitor.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said Rolfe left for vacation on Aug. 2. As part of the motion filed to revoke his bond filed last Tuesday, the DA released records showing the company tracking Rolfe's ankle monitors showed him in Daytona Beach. 

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Judge Barwick wrote that "while the court never intended for the defendant to freely travel," it could not revoke the bond based on the wording of the original order. The judge wrote the motion does give the court the allowance to clarify the first bond order. Rofle's revised bond conditions now read:

"Defendant shall live and reside at one residence within the state of Georgia, the exact location of which will be known only to the ankle monitoring service, the district attorney's office and the court. Defendant shall have a curfew of 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. during which he may not leave his residence except for medical, legal, or work reasons. Defendant must surrender his passport to his attorney, he must have no firearms, and he must have not contact with victims or victims' families. He shall have no contact with any city of Atlanta police officers (except emergencies), and he must have an ankle monitor at his expense with his exact address to remain confidential except as set forth above. The defendant may not leave the state of Georgia.”

In Wednesday's ruling, the judge admonished Rolfe's decision writing:

"While the court is not revoking defendant's bond at this time, the court is more than surprised at defendant's approach at complying with his conditions of release. Defendants face charges related to the killing of another human being, and whether he believes these charges are warranted, he was given the privilege of limited freedom while these charges pend. Should he and his attorney have any questions as to the meaning of the conditions of his bond, they should seek clarification from the court before acting, rather than hoping for continued release after acting. These are strict conditions that shall be adhered to strictly."

Rolfe faces 11 charges, including felony murder and multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. The felony murder charge against Rolfe, 27, carries life in prison or the death penalty if prosecutors decide to seek it.

Brooks, 27, was shot and killed the night of June 12 at a Wendy's restaurant along University Avenue in southeast Atlanta. The officers were called over complaints of a car blocking the restaurant’s drive-thru lane.


Rayshard Brooks, 27 (Photo: Family).

A struggle ensued between Brooks and the officers when they attempted to handcuff him, dashcam video showed. In the struggle, Brooks grabbed a Taser and ran, firing it at the officer, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said. Shots were fired at Brooks as he was running away, which were captured by a surveillance camera at the Wendy's.

An autopsy revealed he was shot twice in the back.

Rolfe’s lawyers said he feared for his and others’ safety and was justified in shooting Brooks. Rolfe opened fire after hearing a sound “like a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him,” apparently from the Taser.

Officer Devin Brosnan faces charges in connection to the shooting death of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks (Fulton County Sheriff's Office).

Officer Devin Brosnan, 26, was also charged in the incident. He is facing a charge of aggravated assault and two counts of violating his oath of office.

There is no word on when the judge will hear arguments on the case.

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