MUNCIE, Ind. — A Supreme Court ruling is raising some questions about bail reform in Muncie.
The new ruling says all inmates must be released on bond or their own recognizance unless they are charged with murder or treason.
“I do not support catch and release whatsoever. I think it does not ensure community safety, certainly not the victim’s safety,” said Delaware County, Prosecuting Attorney Eric Hoffman.
Catch and release means you’re arrested, there’s no bail, then you’re quickly released. Hoffman says that system doesn’t work in many cases.
“It really sets the offender up for failure, because you are arresting them, releasing them. And then they get arrested again, then released again, then arrested again then released again, in the meantime, they’re racking up 5 and 6 different cases. When as if they had been held, they would’ve had the one case,” said Hoffman.
David E. Bond Jr. is one example. He has a 20-year criminal history ranging from resisting law enforcement, drugs, and possession of a firearm. In late May, he was released on bond on multiple charges from a 2017 case.
Then on August 3rd, police say he killed his ex-girlfriend Ashley Bennett, who he was living with at the time at an apartment on Council Street.
“He’s had pending charges since 2017 what was he doing out that’s my question why was he out of jail,” said Bennett’s Co-Worker, Jennifer Crosby.
He was out because he wasn’t facing a murder or treason charge at the time. Now Bennett’s loved ones are left angered and heartbroken.
“She really loved him, she really cared about him, she wanted him to change,” said Crosby.
Her death originally looked like an overdose. The autopsy revealed Bennett was strangled and had broken bones in her neck along with bruises all over her body.
“She had worked really hard to get her life back on track. And her life was robbed from her,” said Bennett’s Best friend, Jessica May.
Life also robbed from her 12-year-old daughter who now must live life without her mother.
As for cases in Delaware County the prosecutor says the rule is clear.
“Everybody has the constitutional right to a bail,” said Hoffman.
The prosecutor’s office has numerous programs in place for lower felonies and misdemeanors. Some include pretrial probation or GPS tracker.
Bond faces charges of murder, possession of meth, and resisting law enforcement. If convicted of all crimes he could face more than 70 years in prison.