FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — It’s been almost two years since the patriarch of a south Fulton County family was killed in a tragic accident, and the family says they are still waiting on justice.
The family says Phillip Byrd was killed when a speeding driver crossed the center lane and crashed head-on into his motorcycle in April 2020.
They say the District Attorney’s office told them that the reason the driver hasn’t been prosecuted yet is the number of backlogged cases caused by the pandemic.
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Carldrekia Boyd told Channel 2 investigative reporter Ashli Lincoln that her husband, 52-year-old Phillip Byrd, was riding his motorcycle on West Road in south Fulton County when he was hit and killed.
“The family and I went down, and we just seen pieces of his bike everywhere, lottery tickets everywhere, just sigh,” she recalled.
She says that every day since then has been agonizing since she has yet to get closure for her husband’s death.
“Right ‘til this day, there’s still no justice,” Carldrekia Boyd said.
Police reports shot a 31-year-old woman was driving the car that struck Boyd. She was later charged and released on bail.
The family says they hasn’t received many updates in the case since then, as they continue to wait for a trial date.
“I call, I email, I go down there, we backed up: ‘There’s nothing we can tell you,’” she said.
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Channel 2 Action News has reported several metro area District Attorney’s offices are battling a backlog of cases because of the pandemic and a spike in violent crime.
The Byrd family’s victim advocate warned the family of these delays.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been transparent about the difficulties associated with the backlog. Since last fall, her office has been working to decrease the more than 11,000 cases awaiting trial.
Willis’ office was awarded $5 million last year to hire more attorneys and investigators. In January, commissioners passes $1.25 million budget with funds allocated to improve the backlog. The County has also pledged $75 million to hire approximately 300 additional staff over the next few years.
The County also plans on using COVID-19 relief funds to bring back retired judges to preside over these cases to help get the backlog down.
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Families like the Byrd family don’t want to wait a few more years to get justice.
“I just need some kind of process to start happening,” Carldrekia Boyd said. “He was my everything, that was my support system and I don’t have that no more.”
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