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Low bond for suspects in bombing of monument? FOP president offers his view on how it happened
Thursday, 21 July 2022 14:07

From Staff Reports

While a number of people in the area questioned what they considered a super-low original bond that was set for one of the suspects, and no bond for the other, in the Vance Monument bombing case, everyone should avoid jumping to conclusions, according to Rondell Lance, president of the local Fraternal Order of Police.

The bond later was increased significantly for one suspect and imposed on the other, Lance said during a July 14 interview with the Daily Planet.

“I know very little about what they tried to use,” Lance said, “They were throwing IEDs at the Vance Monument. I don’t know what level damage that might have caused.” (A story on the attack appears elsewhere on this page).

“I’m just guessing that it was something that wasn’t a really highly potent explosive. That’s why it was a $15,000 bond (for one suspect), meaning it cost “roughly $1,500 to get out.” A bondsman, Lance explained, usually “charges 15 percent” of the bond total to release a suspect — “and makes sure the person is in court.”

What’s more, Lance said, “One of the things people tend to forget is that a bond is basically not a punishment. A bond is intended to ensure that the person will show up in court.”

According to Google, “Money bail suggests a contractual relationship between the government and the defendant (and his surety, if he has one). In return for the defendant’s release from custody, a monetary payment is made (or asset pledged) to the court, along with a promise to comply with the conditions of release set by the court.”

Regarding monetary bail or bond, the local FOP president explained to the Daily Planet that, “first, it’s not a punishment. And second, there are other stipulations” to that payment or pledge. “They take what they call ‘the totality of circumstances.’” 

For instance, he noted that a magistrate or, later, other court official considers: “Were they (the explosives) strong enough to kill somebody?”

Lance added, “So a lot of people get upset” because they do not realize that setting bail or bond is a complex process — and that the intial bail or bond that is set could be changed later, as more information on a case is gathered.

“A lot of times, the next day, the judge looks at the case, and decides he needs higher or lower bond,” or makes other conditions for the suspect to follow, so there is more to the bail and bond process than just the dollar amount of it.

“It appears along with the bond, he (the magistrate in the Vance Monument bombing case) was also requiring pretrial release and wearing a GPS monitor. So there are stipulations besides a bond, sometimes.”

He added, “The judge yesterday (July 13) said, ‘You’ve got to take down all of your social media postings.’

“I think they added a charge — stalking (conservative Leicester-based blogger) Chad Nesbitt, or something.

“So now he (Duncan Andrew Small) has got the monitor on, he’s staying with his parents, he’s got to take down his social media postings....

“So a bond is not an end-all, cure-all. With a GPS, they can” effectively monitor his movements.

In summary, Lance said that “the magistrate sets the bond initially, or the DA (district attorney) can step in and say, ‘No bond on this guy.’”

What’s more, Lance said that in the Vance Monument bombing case, “another charge came in and that upped the bond. (See other story on this page for further details.)

“I think it’ll play out in court.

“I just want the public to know he’s not just running around scot-free. He’s being monitored by the bondsman and the courts. He’s got a GPS monitor. 

“Now, if the family could come up with $15,000, there still could be pretrial release conditions, but if he doesn’t show up in court, then the family loses that $15,000, if he runs,” Lance said.



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