Mall driver denied bond

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An Augusta man accused of deliberately driving into a crowd of people outside Augusta Mall was denied bond today.

At least two people are still hospitalized from the May 15 encounter . Keith L. Varner Jr., 19, was charged with six counts of aggravated assault.

Mr. Varner hit the victims after arguing with Reneshia Williams, the mother of his 4-month-old child. The infant was in the group hit by the car but wasn’t hurt, said Assistant District Attorney Adam King said. Four people were taken to a hospital .

The state strongly opposed bond for Mr. Varner because of the number of victims and because one person was targeted, Mr. King said.

Mr. Varner’s attorney, David Ghazi, told the judge his client was minding his own business when he was confronted by a group of combatants led by Ms. Williams.

Mr. Ghazi said Mr. Varner was trying to calm his panicking girlfriend inside the car and escape the attack when he

hit the gas with more force than intended.

Superior Court Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. said he would not grant bond today. He indicated Mr. Varner can make another bond request after a preliminary hearing.


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