Kanku's murder suspect released on bond - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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Kanku's murder suspect released on bond

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By Callie Starnes
Eyewitness News

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - The story made headlines in February of this year when Terrance Etchison was shot at the Kanku's store on Wilcox Boulevard.

Jamaal Byrd is charged with first degree murder.

Police say the two had been arguing inside the store, and Etchison went out into the parking lot. That's when he was shot.

The day before, prosecutors agreed to place Byrd on probation, for a separate weapons charge.

Nearly two months after his $250,000 bond was set Jamaal Byrd was released from jail.

Since then, Eyewitness News has been in contact with Terrance Etchison's girlfriend. She says she lives in fear now that Byrd is free.

Byrd's attorney, Brian Hoss, says his client is not violent. Hoss says Byrd was acting in self defense when he allegedly pulled the trigger killing Etchison.

"He was provoked by the victim and the victim's friends inside that store, and was taunted outside that store," said Hoss, "and that is clear as day."

Prior to the shooting, Byrd was charged with illegally having a gun. Otherwise his record was clean.

Just 24 hours after being placed on probation for the gun charge, Byrd allegedly used a different gun to kill Etchison.

Judge Christie Sell set bond in both cases.

Sell sent this statement to our newsroom:

         "I cannot talk about a pending case, but the main purpose of a bond is to secure someone's appearance at their next court date. Other factors, including public safety, are considered in setting bond."

Public safety is something attorney Hoss says should not be a concern.

By law, Jamaal Byrd is entitled to a bond.

Hoss says Byrd is living with his family awaiting his next day in court. He says he won't be a threat to the community.

"Out on bond he is not entitled to be carrying a gun today," said Hoss, "and he is very much aware of that fact."

Jamaal Byrd's case has been sent to criminal court. He heads back to court on September 7th, when a judge is set to decide if the case will head to trial.

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