Shelby County District Attorney Army Weirich wants to know where Willie Braddock, who is connected to the murder of Officer Martoiya Lang, got the money to bond out of jail.
The question arose as Braddock and Treveno Campbell, Officer Campbell's alleged murderer, made joint appearances in General Sessions Courtroom 11 Thursday morning.
MORE: Braddock, Campbell in court together Jan 3
DA Weirich calls it "judicial economy." Why have a separate hearing for Campbell, 21, when you can also have the "daily double" bringing in Braddock, the 26-year-old with ties to the same case?
Campbell was making his first open court appearance since being released from the hospital after being wounded during the Dec. 14 incident. But DA Weirich centered her attention on Braddock who has been out on a $40,000 since being arrested at the crime scene for marijuana possession with intent to distribute.
"We filed what is called a 'motion for source of funds hearing,' which is something that we, a tool that we can use as prosecutors for defendants to have to bring us proof showing the judge that money that was used to post bail was gained legitimately," DA Weirich said.
While a nervous Braddock tried to stay out of camera before entering court, his attorney Blake Ballin assured his client and family members that DA Weirich's motion was a judicial ploy to tighten the screws on a man who insists he had no direct involvement in Officer Lang's death, other than wrong time, wrong time.
"The money did come from a legitimate source," Ballin said. "Both of his sisters are employed, one with the federal government, another for a warehouse. So, they were able to come up with the money to post his bond. It remains to be seen whether they can connect him in any way to the shooting, the drugs, or whether he was simply just in the house. It's our position that he was simply in the house."
Yet, while Braddock's explanation of how he got the bond money figures to hold up when a judge rules on DA Weirich's motion Dec. 10, he is by no means over the hump with the case. He'll have to return along with Campbell on Jan. 31 for a preliminary hearing in which prosecutors could lay out some of the evidence they have against both men.
It'll just be the start of case that gives credence the adage, due to the gravity of this case, whether proven to be buddy or perpetrator - if you're in for a penny, you're in for a pound.
"This is going to be a long, tough, hard fight," said William Massey, Campbell's defense legal counsel. "This isn't going to be over quickly. So, he needs to buckle in and get ready mentally. Get ready emotionally for a long fight."