A driver accused of hitting and killing a pedestrian while high on methamphetamine wanted his bond reduced so that he could get out of jail, but instead, a judge substantially raised his bond.

David Allen Pope, 41, is accused of hitting 65-year-old James Mitchell, who was walking beside South New Hope Road Jan. 28 when he was killed. 

Pope’s attorney, Ronald Haynes Jr., told Senior Resident Superior Court Judge David Phillips last week that Pope was arrested Feb. 6 and initially charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, but after his blood tested positive for methamphetamine, he was indicted on a felony charge. 

He said that Pope cooperated with law enforcement and consented to the blood test, adding that Pope is not a danger to the community. He asked that Pope’s bond be lowered from $150,000 to $75,000.

Assistant District Attorney Chad Smith disagreed. He said that Pope failed to appear in court 10 times for traffic charges in Gaston County, that he did not have a license at the time Mitchell was killed, and that Pope had a warrant for his arrest in Tennessee at the time he was arrested.

“This defendant has a history of not showing up for court in two different states,” Smith said. “Frankly, this is the lowest bond that’s ever been set in a case of this sort that I’ve been involved with.” 

“I don’t know how you can be more dangerous to the community than running over pedestrians who are walking back from Bojangles,” Smith added. 

He asked Phillips to raise Pope’s bond to whatever Phillips deemed appropriate.

Phillips raised Pope’s bond to $500,000.

Mitchell’s longtime girlfriend, Vanessa Glenn, said she is glad Pope’s bond is higher.

“Awesome, yeah, that’s really awesome,” she said. “Because now I know there’s no chance of him getting out.”

“I’m surprised that he hadn’t been already locked up,” she added. “He shouldn’t have been out on the streets driving, period.”

She said that she misses Mitchell, who was called “Fish” by friends and family.

“I’ve had some good days and some bad days. I think about him all the time,” she said. “I miss him dearly.”