Man Charged In Firebombings Released On $4,500 Bond

Federal Authorities Wanted Menifee Held In Jail

Thursday, July 3, 2008
Montez Menifee
Montez Menifee

A man Chattanooga Police and federal authorities charged in fire bombings last week in the wake of a fatal stabbing has been released from the Hamilton County Jail on a $4,500 bond.

Authorities say they are looking for 20-year-old Montez Menifee because the ATF had requested that he be held until they could obtain federal charges against him.

Jail officials said Menifee was released at 4:10 a.m. after posting bail on three bonds set by Chief Magistrate Yolanda Mitchell.

She set a $2,500 bond for possession of marijuana, $1,000 bond for theft under $500 and $1,000 bond for domestic assault.

A joint investigation led law enforcement officers to a residence where seven Molotov cocktails were found, police said.

The probe involved the Chattanooga Police Department, the Chattanooga Fire Department, the ATF, the FBI and the Tennessee Bomb and Arson Agency.

At the time of his arrest, police said
Menifee would be held on outstanding state warrants. They said other charges are pending.

Police spokesperson Kim Reavley said, "Chattanooga Police are asking for help in apprehending Montez Menifee.

"Chattanooga Police have learned Montez Menifee has been released on bond from the Hamilton County Jail.

"Menifee was arrested last night after Chattanooga Police and ATF Agents connected him to last week’s fire bombings that stemmed from the stabbing death of LaTony Johnson in East Lake Courts.

"ATF had requested that Menifee be held until they had obtained federal charges; however, he was released earlier today.

"Chattanooga Police are asking if anyone has information on the whereabouts of Montez Menifee they contact the Chattanooga Police Department at 698-2525."

General Sessions Court Judge Bob Moon earlier Thursday was critical of a $5,000 bond set for a man charged with jumping a counter at the Walgreens on Highway 153 and trying to steal pills, then returning to the same drug store a few hours later.

The man was on probation after getting an eight-year sentence on an earlier robbery conviction.

The $5,000 bond for Eric Dewayne Smartt was set by Chief Magistrate Mitchell.

Judge Moon, today after hearing the Walgreens robbery case, increased the previous $5,000 bond to $50,000.

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