Judge delays trial for Eagle 8 defendants

Add this share


READ MORE | View our complete coverage of the Eagle raid

The trial of the eight men arrested during the Atlanta Police Department’s Sept. 10 raid of the gay bar has been postponed, another delay in the legal case that has entered its fifth month.

The trial, scheduled to open Feb. 4, has been postponed and not yet rescheduled, according to Alan Begner, the attorney representing the eight men.

imageJudge Crystal Gaines, the municipal court judge presiding over the case, could not be immediately reached Friday. Her office initiated the postponement on Thursday, Begner says. Solicitor Raines Carter (bottom photo), whose office is prosecuting the case against the Eagle 8, also could not be immediately reached for comment.

Begner says he expects a conference call with Gaines and Carter sometime next week to discuss the case.

The Eagle 8 were arraigned Nov. 3. Eagle co-owner Robert Kelley (top photo), bartender Chris Lopez, manager David Shepherd and doorman Ernest Buehl face business license charges. Dancers Leandro Apud, Anitonio Benitez, Thdareius Johnson and Robert Kline are charged with providing adult entertainment without a license.

The Sept. 10 raid ignited a firestorm of controversy over police tactics and prompted several elected officials and political candidates to question the raid and call for an investigation. It resulted in a public forum with top commanders of the police department, who defended the raid, and three protests. The action also prompted a federal lawsuit, which was filed in late November.

Earlier this month, Mayor Kasim Reed pledged to take “appropriate action” if an ongoing investigation and lawsuit shows that the police department acted inappropriately during the raid. The comments came on Reed’s second day in office as he and Acting Police Chief George Turner announced sweeping staffing changes at the Atlanta Police Department.


Project Q Atlanta goes on hiatus after 14 years

On Sept. 1, 2008, Project Q Atlanta promised a hyper-local “queer media diet” for Atlanta. The site set out to bring LGBTQ news, in-depth...

Photos catch Purple Dress Run invading Midtown

After three years of pandemic-inflicted limitations, Atlanta’s gay rugby squad let loose on one of its most popular events. The Atlanta Bucks Purple Dress...

Ooo Bearracuda: Photos from Bear Pride’s Main Event

The seventh annual Atlanta Bear Pride hit the ground running on Friday with packed houses at Woofs, Heretic and Future. Turned out, they hadn’t...

Atlanta Bear Pride set to go hard and long all weekend

That low, growing growl you hear is a nation of gay bears headed for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend. By the time they arrive,...

PHOTOS: Armorettes bring back Easter Drag Race magic

Gay Atlanta’s queens of do-good drag brought the sunshine to a cloudy afternoon on Saturday when Heretic hosted the triumphant return of Armorettes Easter...