The homeless man accused of setting the fire that triggered the March 30 collapse of a portion of I-85 has plead not guilty to the crime and released on a $10,000 signature bond.

According to CBS46, Basil Eleby’s lawyers say he is mentally ill and had no involvement in the fire. They say he is being used as a scapegoat after the Georgia Department of Transportation stored flammable materials under the overpass.

Authorities allege they have witness testimony which says Eleby started the fire under Interstate 85 while smoking crack-cocaine.


Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.