Anthony Vashern Prothro, 22, of Carrollton appeared before Judge Bill Hamrick with his attorney, public defender John Howe.
Howe said the motion was not for a “typical bond” in which the suspect would be released from confinement, but a bond to release him from Carroll County jail to be housed in a lockdown facility to receive psychiatric treatment.
“Being in Carroll County jail is not good for him, and it’s not good for the jail either,” Howe said. “I think he and others would be better served if he received treatment.”
Prothro is charged with seven offenses, including murder, arson, burglary, armed robbery and concealing a death.
The state, led by Assistant District Attorney Anne Allen, opposed bond.
Allen called Sgt. Shannon Cantrell of Carrollton Police Department to testify during the hearing.
Cantrell said that Prothro admitted to the offenses during interviews after being arrested about a week after the alleged crime.
The lead investigator said that results from the crime lab had shown that Prothro’s grandfather, Carrollton resident Alvin Driver, had died from blunt force trauma to the head, rather than smoke inhalation, which was originally suspected during the original investigation of the fire.
Cantrell testified that Prothro went into Driver’s home on Foster Street by climbing through a window sometime on Wednesday, Jan. 16, with the intention of stealing Driver’s wallet. When he discovered that his grandfather was not in the shower as he’d expected, he crawled out of the window and came to the front door, the officer said.
“He told me they had an argument about (Prothro’s) drug problem and not being able to find a job,” Cantrell said.
The investigator said Prothro told him he then took an exercise dumbbell and hit his grandfather on the head “several times.”
The crime lab report found that Driver’s skull had been fractured numerous times, Cantrell testified.
“He told me he left the residence when his granddad was laying on the floor, snoring,” the investigator said.
Police deduced that, in the next several days, Prothro allegedly returned to Driver’s home, taking the keys to his grandfather’s truck and taking it, returning it later each night.
In the early morning hours the following Saturday, Prothro went back to the house, doused an area in gasoline and set it on fire, police said.
Firefighters found Driver’s body in the living room of his home at about 5 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19.
During the time between the grandfather’s death and the alleged arson, Prothro is accused of using his grandfather’s debit card to rent movies at Redbox, Allen said. For that alleged action, Prothro is also charged with financial transaction card fraud.
Prothro’s mother, as well as several other family members, were present for the bond hearing.
• Hamrick also denied bond Friday for one of the four teenaged suspects accused of breaking into a Villa Rica home twice earlier this month.
Travis Goolsby, 19, of Villa Rica appeared in court Friday with his attorney, public defender Valerie Cooke, who made the motion for bond.
The state, led by Allen, opposed bond.
“He has no criminal record because he’s only 19,” Allen said. “But he does have a pending burglary charge in Haralson County, which he was bonded out on when this occurred.”
Sgt. Brian Finley of Villa Rica Police Department testified that the four suspects entered a home in the Twin Oaks subdivision on Feb. 2.
The other three suspects are Joseph Brady Cook, 19; Austin Wayne Priest, 17; and Tony Chase McGuire, 17, all of Villa Rica.
Finley said Goolsby admitted to him during interviews that he had gone into the home and stolen a firearm belonging to the female homeowner.
An officer responded to the home after an alarm was triggered. As the officer were checking the home to ensure that it was secure, the four teens allegedly hid in the woods, waiting until the officer left.
Goolsby, Priest and McGuire then re-entered the home while Cook stayed in the woods as a look-out, Finley said.
The homeowner arrived at the home after being notified twice by the alarm company that her home has been broken into. When she arrived, she began to walk around the property before going inside. The victim told police she saw a male hiding in the woods behind the house and as she was walking toward him, two more males exited the rear door of her home.
Finley said the woman, out of fear, fired three shots at Goolsby as she she ran from the area. She fired at a range of about 25 feet at the suspect, who was armed with a loaded weapon, the investigator said.
Goolsby was not injured during the shooting.
Cooke said Goolsby was not a risk to flee the jurisdiction and that he would reside with either his mother or father, in Buchanan or Carrollton.
Goolsby, Priest and McGuire were each charged with burglary and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. Cook was charged only with burglary, as there was no evidence that he had a firearm during the incident.
All stolen property was recovered.