Bond reduced for attempted murder charges
A 29-year-old Aiken woman accused of being a getaway driver in the September attempted armed robbery of Porky Bradberry's Jewelry had a more than $3 million bond reduced Thursday for attempted murder charges from an unrelated shooting a month prior.Judge Thomas Cooper reduced bond for Christi J. Jackson, of University Parkway, from $3,750,000 to $75,000 for five attempted murder charges.The hearing was held in General Sessions court following a motion by defense attorney Bob Harte, who said Jackson is not a danger to the community and has close family ties in Aiken. Several family members and friends, including Jackson's father, former Aiken County principal Clarence Jackson, attended the hearing to show support.Family friend and godmother of Jackson's children, former Aiken City Councilwoman Beverley Clyburn addressed the court, telling the judge that she has known Jackson since she was a baby, growing up with her daughter, Aiken attorney Courtney Clyburn-Pope.Clyburn said Jackson is talented, smart and a good mother in need of spending more time with her children. Aiken City Councilwoman Lessie Price called Jackson "principled" and echoed the fact that Jackson's children miss her.Clyburn-Pope told the judge that she does not believe Jackson is a danger to society or a flight risk, adding that the two women had a plan to go to law school and then open a law firm together."Life led us on separate paths," Clyburn-Pope said.The attempted murder charges stem from a Beaufort Street shooting in August, in which Jackson and co-defendant Dominique L. Fortenberry, 20, allegedly became involved in an argument with passengers in a vehicle outside a gas station, and Fortenberry allegedly fired shots into the other vehicle from the vehicle that Jackson was driving.Jackson and Fortenberry were each charged with five counts of attempted murderâö one count for each occupant in the other vehicle in the August shooting.Fortenberry was also charged with unlawful carrying of a pistol, possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime and discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle for the incident.Although the Beaufort Street shooting occurred in August, Jackson and Fortenberry were not identified until October, after the two had been arrested for the jewelry store robbery.On Sept. 12, Fortenberry allegedly entered Porky Bradberry's dressed as a woman and held Bradberry, the owner, at gunpoint. Fortenberry allegedly shot Bradberry in the arm, but Bradberry shot Fortenberry in the face, and Fortenberry fled, with Jackson allegedly driving the getaway vehicle. They were arrested after a police search later the same evening.Jackson was charged with attempted armed robbery.Jackson was released on $30,000 bond but arrested again in October once she and Fortenberry were linked to the August shooting.The reduced $75,000 bond for the five attempted murder charges is to run concurrent to the $30,000 bond for the jewelry store attempted armed robbery for which Jackson was already out.At presstime, Jackson was still being held at the Aiken County detention center.Fortenberry is being held at the Aiken County detention center on about a $4 million bond.Anna Dolianitis is a reporter for the Aiken Standard. She covers the Department of Energy's Savannah River Site, as well as court and legal matters affecting Aiken County. She has been with the Aiken Standard since August 2010.