INDIANAPOLIS – An Indianapolis man accused of killing a 21-year-old woman is released from jail pending trial.
The suspect was allowed to get back on the street just one week after the deadly shooting which took place on Drexel Avenue.
Sitting in the front seat of her Toyota doing her makeup, a young mother was shot and killed in late August.
“I’m angry. I don’t even know how to grieve yet because I’m angry about the situation,” said the victim’s mother Michele Munns.
21-year-old Kailene Munns-Lawrence leaves behind a young son who will have to grow up without his mom.
“My grandson is about to start school and she doesn’t get to see that. He’s not going to have his mommy there for his first day of school,” said Munns.
A small memorial marks the scene of the shooting where prosecutors claim Marquese Berry accidentally shot Kailene while messing around with a sawed-off shotgun next to her car.
After the shooting police believe someone disposed of the gun, which has not been recovered.
According to court records, Berry repeatedly lied to police before eventually confessing and being charged with reckless homicide.
That charge that allowed Berry to post a $15,000 surety bond. Three days later he walked out of jail.
That’s why the victim’s mother feels like the legal system is failing her family.
“He’s visiting with his kids while mine is gone,” said Munns. “In order for me to grieve properly, I think the guy should be charged with murder.”
“The difference legally between murder and reckless homicide is like night and day,” said attorney Jack Crawford.
Attorney Crawford isn’t connected to the case but explains that a murder charge would require proof that the killing was intentional.
“When you don’t have intent and you don’t have proof of motive, you have reckless homicide. That’s what the law says,” said Crawford. “People I know are discouraged. They think my relative died and this person shouldn’t be out on bond, but that’s not what the law says if the death was an accident.”
“So you can go around killing people by accident and you’re not going to get in trouble for it? I think it sends the wrong message clearly,” said Munns.
If convicted, a reckless homicide charge carries a punishment of one to six years behind bars.