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(UPDATE) Man who ran over cyclist Greg Germani recommended for work release

Crime and public safety Decatur Metro ATL

(UPDATE) Man who ran over cyclist Greg Germani recommended for work release

Joseph Alan Lewis, right, speaks with his attorney Overton Thierry, left, during an Aug. 1, 2014 preliminary hearing. File photo by Dan Whisenhunt
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UPDATE: Beth Anne Harrill reports that Work Release is off the table but parole is still a possibility. Here is her full update on the situation: 

I’m relieved to report that the Office of Victim Services has informed me that the Department of Corrections has withdrawn its recommendation that Mr. Lewis, the individual who ran down Greg Germani, be eligible for work release. But don’t stay silent and think that this is the end! It is entirely possible that he will be eligible for parole THIS YEAR based upon his time served. Any letter written will be part of the official record considered by the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Same guidelines as before apply (stay focused on facts, no profanity, make this about the impact on Greg and the community). This wouldn’t have happened without everyone’s support and action! Correspondence should be sent to Office of Victim Services, State Board of Pardons & Paroles, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE, Balcony Level, East Tower, Atlanta, GA 30334. In any correspondence include the incarcerated’s name: Joseph Lewis, GDC ID: 1001666836.

Here is our earlier story … 

Joseph Alan Lewis, who received a 15 year prison sentence for running over cyclist Greg Germani in 2014, is eligible for work release followed by parole.

Beth Anne Harrill, Germani’s girlfriend and his biggest champion, is asking concerned citizens to contact the State Board of Pardons and Paroles to oppose his release.

In June 2014, Germani was riding his bike home from work when he got into an argument with a man driving a red Dodge Nitro, Joseph Alan Lewis. Following the argument, Lewis came back and hit Germani with the vehicle, leaving him for dead.

Lewis in 2015 pleaded guilty to some of the charges related to that incident and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The assault left Germani with permanent brain damage.

“We have until June 17, 2019 (TWO weeks) to submit written views to the Office of Victim Services which then, presumably, will be considered by the Board of Pardons and Paroles,” Harrill said in an open letter to the community. “The man who assaulted Greg has served less than five years of his sentence. It is unconscionable that he is being considered for this. The thought that this guy can walk out of prison a young man while Greg’s life will never be the same cannot stand.”

Here is Harrill’s full letter:

Friends, relatives, neighbors, I’m calling for your help. On Friday, I received a notice that Joseph Lewis, the person who intentionally struck our friend and neighbor, Greg Germani, and left him for dead on the side of the road on June 9, 2014 has been recommended for work release followed by parole if he successfully completes the work release. We have until JUNE 17, 2019 (TWO weeks) to submit written views to the Office of Victim Services which then, presumably, will be considered by the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The man who assaulted Greg has served less than 5 years of his sentence. It is unconscionable that he is being considered for this. The thought that this guy can walk out of prison a young man while Greg’s life will never be the same cannot stand.

For those of you new to the neighborhood, Greg has lived hear 25+ years and commuted to work almost every day on his bike. He was run down in the VA Highlands area by a driver on his way home from work on 6/9/14, and suffered an severe traumatic brain injury, broken vertebrae, and multiple other injuries. The only reason he is alive is because of the tremendous medical care he received at Grady Hospital and Shepherd Center. Greg is the founder of Atlanta Time Machine, a lover of dogs, cycling, and all things cool and unusual.

I am asking all of you to write a letter expressing your views about the unfairness and injustice of this. Some guidelines, please: (1) NO profanity or derogatory personal remarks about Mr. Lewis (this will not be helpful and undermines the purpose of the statement for the victim, Greg); (2) emphasize Greg’s character, his contributions, and how his life has changed; (3) discuss how releasing Mr. Lewis after such a minimal incarceration is an insult to Greg, his family, and his community; (4) discuss the message this sends to other victims of violent crime; (5) share your experiences with Greg that have occurred since the crime and the many things that Greg is no longer able to enjoy; and (6) please ask the Board to require him to serve every single day of his sentence due to the intentional, deliberate, malicious act and the daily toll it takes on Greg now and for the rest of his life.

Correspondence MUST be sent to Office of Victim Services, State Board of Pardons & Paroles, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SE, Balcony Level, East Tower, Atlanta, GA 30334 by JUNE 17, 2019

In any correspondence include the incarcerated’s name: Joseph Lewis, GDC ID: 1001666836.

Greg Germani with girlfriend Beth Harrill in Fulton County Superior Court. File Photo by Dena Mellick

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