A Hall County judge who sentenced a man to 18 years in prison nearly three years ago was asked Tuesday to grant him bond.
Chanju Dryden is eligible for bond after the Georgia Supreme Court reversed his February 2007 conviction for striking and seriously injuring a Hall County Sheriff’s deputy with his car. Dryden is awaiting a retrial of his case, in which he is accused of pinning drug agent
Mark Thomason against a truck, crushing his leg.
The incident occurred in a convenience store parking lot on E.E. Butler Parkway in January 2006, while undercover agents were trying to arrest Dryden in a drug sting. Thomason was hospitalized for 12 days after the injury and underwent five surgeries on his leg.
In a decision returned in April, the Georgia Supreme Court found that the Hall County jury in Dryden’s case returned a “mutually exclusive” verdict when it found him guilty of both aggravated assault on a peace officer and serious injury by a vehicle caused by reckless driving. A jury could have returned one or the other of the guilty verdicts, but not both, the high court decided unanimously.
Following Dryden’s conviction in February 2007, Judge Kathlene Gosselin sentenced him to 18 years in prison.
Dryden, 30, has served about three years of the sentence. He is currently in the Hall County jail.
Troy Millikan, the defense attorney who got Dryden’s conviction reversed, called his client’s relatives to the witness stand to testify he would have a place to live and work if he was granted bond.
Dryden acknowledged that he had run from police in the past, with his most recent arrest coming after authorities found him hiding in a closet.
“I’ve ran from police, but I haven’t run from them while I was on bond,” Dryden said, characterizing his past run-ins with the law as “small scrapes.”
Toller asked Dryden, “You don’t want to go back to prison, do you?”
“No one really wants to go to prison because of the environment and the kind of person it breeds,” Dryden responded. “But I’m willing to take on any consequences that come with my actions, because I’m a man.”
Gosselin said she would take the request for bond under advisement.