Bondsmen: “Damned if you do…Damned if you don’t…”
Below are excerpts from the article, “Serial felon at center of murder-suicide was freed for $1,000” posted on 20 Aug 2015 with this author’s comments:
A local felon with a lengthy rap sheet was released from custody after paying just $1,000 to a bail bonds company for a $100,000 bond less than a month before police alleged he murdered a woman and killed himself.
On July 13, Maryland District Court Judge Jeannie Eun Kyung Cho set the bail for Germantown resident Johnnie Perkins, 42, at $100,000. Perkins had an option of paying 10 percent of that total if he paid in cash for violating his probation on drug-related charges from 2012.
He was due back in court in Sept. 21 for obstructing and hindering a police officer and second-degree assault.
However, on Aug. 4, police alleged Perkins shot Shakina Perkins-Moody, 34, at a Washington Express Gas Station in Germantown before killing himself.
“I put your bond at $100,000, 10 percent if you are able to post that bond, then you are, you will be on pretrial supervision,” Cho told Perkins as his July bail hearing.
During his bail review, Cho listed Perkins’ several offenses.
They included two felony counts of a felon in possession of a firearm. Each count carried a maximum of 15 years in prison, she said.
Cho said the conditions under his supervision included living at Perkins-Moody’s address during pretrial, participating in a substance abuse treatment and reporting to his probation officer.
There are two items of interest here that are frustrating for bail bondsmen:
- It only cost Perkins $1000 to get out on a $100,000 bond.
Wow, that’s only 1%! There is a frequent argument that the traditional bail bonds industry discriminates against the poor. Those commentators most frequently omit the fact that most bondsmen offer terms to make it significantly easier for the defendant or his/her friends and family to post the bond by offering financing. (Of course, when no one in that group is willing to contribute to make it happen, it says something about whether the defendant belongs on the street anyway. After all, they know more about the defendant that any magistrate or judge called upon to set a bail amount.) The bondsman in this case made it VERY easy to get out. However…
Very often when a defendant is free on bond and commits a new crime, as in this case, the press blames the bail bondsman saying, “the bondsman made it too easy to get out!” Bondsmen are damed if they do, and damed if they don’t.
- Pre-trial supervision (frequently proposed as an alternative for surety bonds offered by bondsmen) failed completely!