For the third time in a week Tuesday, federal investigators searched the apartment of Richard Jewell, the Atlanta security guard who remains a suspect in the July 27 bombing at Centennial Olympic Park.
While agents combed the apartment Jewell shares with his mother, the 33-year-old suspect spent more than seven hours in a law office with his lawyers, Jack Martin and G. Watson Bryant Jr. A law-enforcement officer, presumably with the FBI, kept watch on the office from an unmarked car, as did more than 20 reporters who have been tracking Jewell’s rare movements around town.
Jewell emerged as a suspect early last week, only days after he won acclaim for directing police to the green knapsack that contained the pipe bomb and then helping them move park visitors away from danger. The explosion killed one woman, injured 111 people and deflated the celebratory mood of the Olympics.
He has not been charged with any involvement in the crime, and FBI officials have said they are looking at other suspects as well.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Martin emerged from his meeting with Jewell to say simply that he was studying the facts of the case. Martin, a prominent criminal defense lawyer in Atlanta, was recently brought into the case by Jewell on the advice of Bryant, a longtime acquaintance of Jewell who acknowledges that he has little experience with criminal law.
Martin also said he would not be filing court papers seeking to force federal authorities to unseal the affidavit that was used to obtain search warrants for Jewell’s apartment, his former residence in north Georgia, a mini-warehouse where he stored belongings and a variety of buildings at Piedmont College in Demorest, where he worked until this spring.
“That’s the U.S. attorney’s decision,” Martin said. “That’s their right to keep them under seal.”
Bryant had said Jewell’s lawyers would seek to unseal the affidavit to expose what they called weak and circumstantial evidence.
Federal investigators have yet to reveal whether they have discovered any physical evidence tying Jewell to the bombing.