Suspect in Athens hit-and-run granted $50K bond - FOX 35 News Orlando

Suspect in Athens hit-and-run granted $50K bond

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William Heaton William Heaton
ATHENS, Ga. -

A man charged in a hit-and-run that left a former Kennesaw State University student in a coma was granted a $50,000 bond on Thursday. William Wilson Heaton, 22, is accused of hitting 19-year-old Emily Bowman with his truck and fleeing the scene.

No attorney was present to represent Heaton when he appeared before the judge. He listened as the district attorney poured over his criminal and driving history that consisted of various alcohol and speeding violations. The judge issued bond to Heaton over the DA's objections.

If Heaton posts bond, the judge ordered him to wear a GPS monitor, surrender his driver's licence, be subject to drug and alcohol tests, and have no contact with witnesses.

Heaton's mother was present at the bond hearing, and tells FOX 5 her heart is focused on the Bowmans, and her son is ready to take responsibility for his actions.

"Wilson and his father and I are all committed to the truth, and we have been from day one. We have communicated that again and again, and Wilson is fully prepared to take responsibility," said Tara Heaton.

Heaton turned himself on Wednesday night after a warrant was issued, nearly three weeks after the hit-and run-accident. Police say Heaton hit Emily Bowman with his truck in the early morning hours of February 16 while she was walking with a friend.

Investigators say he fled the scene and they found his truck abandoned nearby with empty alcohol containers inside. Bowman has been fighting for her life ever since at Athens Regional Hospital. Her mother Debbie says it's been a tough road, but she is showing signs of progress.

"Without God on my side, I don't know how I could've handled this. But you know, I feel like I've been given the strength to go on because I have to be strong for her," said Debbie.

Bowman's friends in Woodstock held a fundraiser at Buffalo's Cafe in Woodstock on Thursday to help her family with increasing medical bills. Ten percent of all sales will go to Emily's family to help with medical expenses, and friends will sell bracelets and T-shirts.

The money from the fundraiser will also help the family as they try to get Emily moved from Athens Regional to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, which could happen as soon as Friday, according to a Facebook posting.

Heaton's next court date has not been set.

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