New details revealed in case of injured cyclistAtlanta Police escort Shanelle Woodard, 22, to a waiting police van on July 16. Woodard is accused of helping Joseph Alan Lewis conceal evidence in the case of an aggravated assault against a cyclist. Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
Shanelle Woodard sat in a room at Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 2 precinct in Buckhead with her attorney on July 15, a day before she was arrested.
Investigators told Woodard, 22, she was being questioned as a witness, not a suspect. A detective showed Woodard photos of Greg Germani after he had been run down by a Dodge Nitro on June 9. Police allege that Woodard’s boyfriend, Joseph Alan Lewis, 19, was behind the wheel. That same day, police had issued a warrant for Lewis’ arrest.
Woodard told police that she was in a relationship with Lewis. Investigators told her that they had evidence she had helped Lewis conceal evidence of the crime. They explained to Woodard that they had video of her driving Lewis to the Walmart on Howell Mill Road to purchase vehicle covers to hide the Nitro the day after the attack on Germani.
Woodard nodded her head, Investigator Zachary Kramer wrote in the affidavit for arrest.
“When she was asked specific and direct questions regarding her aiding of the suspect, she refused to answer, upon the advice of her counsel,” the affidavit said.
The next day police put Woodard in handcuffs and led her to a police van. Her boyfriend, Lewis, turned himself in several hours later.
When reached by phone on July 21, Woodard declined to speak about the case.
“I can only say no comment,” Woodard said. “That’s about it.”
Attempts to reach attorneys for Woodard and Lewis have been unsuccessful. She’s from Pooler, GA, near Savannah. Lewis’ address is listed as Gables Midtown, the apartment complex where police found the Dodge Nitro used in the attack. It’s within walking distance of Flagler Avenue, the scene of the crime.
Woodard was released from jail on July 18, a day after her emotional court appearance where a judge set her bond at $5,000 for the charge of tampering with evidence and $10,000 for hindering apprehension of a criminal. Lewis was denied bond and remains in jail.
On July 17, Woodard’s attorney asked the judge for leniency, saying her client was a student at Agnes Scott and didn’t have a criminal record. A spokesperson for the school said Woodard had withdrawn in 2013 and wasn’t a student at the school.
Publically available information about Woodard shows she was a bright student with a promising future. In 2006, Savannah news station 11 WTOC profiled the then-14 year old Woodard, naming her a “Top Teen.”
The station reported that, “She’s a cheerleader, a volunteer at her church and a superb student.”
“I really want to go far and I don’t want to sit at home here, and I really want to go to college and be able to travel everywhere,” Woodard told the station in 2006.
Attempts to find information about Lewis have been unsuccessful. The affidavits for arrest suggest that Lewis may have moved to Georgia from another state. He is charged with driving with an expired license or no license and driving with no license plate or an expired license plate. According to the affidavit, “said accused did operate a 2007 Dodge Nitro in the state of Georgia without having first obtained a Georgia driver’s license after having resided in the state of Georgia for over 30 days.”
The affidavits describe the video evidence police obtained against Woodard.
According to the account, on June 10 Woodard drove her 2003 black Toyota Camry, displaying a tag that said BR0RAT, to the Walmart on Howell Mill Road. She’s accused of personally buying the vehicle cover with cash at 9:32 am on June 10 while Lewis rented movies from a Redbox machine. On June 11, video evidence showed Lewis returning to the Walmart in Woodard’s Camry and returning the cover that Woodard purchased. The affidavit says Lewis purchased another cover.
Lewis returned to that location again on June 11, at 7:15 pm in the same car, but someone else was driving. The affidavit does not identify who was driving the Camry on the second trip on June 11. Lewis purchased another vehicle cover, according to the document.
“This vehicle has been indisputably linked to Ms. Shanelle Woodard and she regularly operates such,” the affidavit says. “She has been proven, on video, to assist her boyfriend in his attempt to conceal evidence and then hide such information from law enforcement.”
The two will appear in court again on July 31.
Germani’s recovery continues. His friends and family plan to launch a fundraising page for him sometime this week to help cover his medical expenses. Germani is the man behind the popular Atlanta Time Machine blog.
“Greg created and has maintained the Atlanta Time Machine website without advertisements or solicitation for donations for years,” a message posted on the website’s Facebook page says. “It has been a complete labor of love for him. He has brought enjoyment and knowledge to thousands of people over the years. All we would ask is that you consider what his contributions have meant to you when we ask for small contribution for him.”