Judge: Suspect in Hamilton HS hazing being released from jail

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Mom of student accused of HamiltonHigh hazing not speaking about his bond. Attorney blames "lord of the flies" mentality in locker room (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Mom of student accused of HamiltonHigh hazing not speaking about his bond. Attorney blames "lord of the flies" mentality in locker room (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A Hamilton High School football player accused in a criminal hazing case is being released from jail.

Of the several students arrested, only 17-year-old Nathaniel Thomas is charged as an adult.

[ORIGINAL STORY: 3 teens formally charged in Hamilton High School hazing incident]

Wednesday, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge granted Thomas' attorney's request to let him out of the Fourth Avenue Jail on bond.

The judge granted release on a $25,000 bond. Plus, Thomas will be under house arrest.

"It's shocking to go to jail and be surrounded by murderers. He's happy to go home and be with his mom," attorney Kenneth Countryman said after the hearing.

A large crowd of Thomas' family and students from Chandler came to the hearing to show their support.

Police and prosecutors say Thomas and others restrained younger members of the football team, and violently, sexually assaulted them.   The alleged incidents happened in the Hamilton High School locker room.

"These are absolutely disturbing allegations, but he didn't do them. This case is about a severe lack of supervision on the part of the coaches at the high school," Countryman said.

Prosecutors asked for a higher bond, and told the judge Thomas had threatened others involved in the case.

Countryman admits some sort of "horseplay" took place in the locker room but says it was "blown out of proportion."

"There clearly was a 'Lord of the Flies mentality,'" he said.

Thomas' attorney expects to post bond Wednesday afternoon, and to have the teen released Thursday morning.

Thomas will remain under house arrest, and was ordered not to contact any of the alleged victims or suspects in the case.

[READ MORE: Hamilton High School head coach reassigned amidst hazing investigation]

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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