FRANKLIN, Ind. (April 18, 2016) – Police in Franklin announced an arrest Monday in a hit-and-run crash that resulted in serious injuries, but hours later the suspect was already out on bond.
Police had been investigating the crash since January. On April 13, they released a surveillance photo of an SUV connected to the case. It took only a day, according to Deputy Chief Chris Tennell, for an anonymous tip to come in pointing investigators towards Will Slinger, 29.
"(It involved) two drivers that had done nothing wrong and the nature of the injuries were life-changing. It was real important to try and track down the person who was responsible," Tennell said.
One of those victims, Grant Black, is in a wheelchair and will have to learn to walk again. Black told FOX59 he was initially thrilled to hear of an arrest in the case.
"It’s a big, big relief to the family," Black said.
His joy was overshadowed, though, when Black learned that Slinger had been allowed to post a modest bond and walk out of jail.
Court records indicate Slinger has a history that includes a prior conviction for OWI and Causing Death While Operating a Motor Vehicle.
Slinger was found responsible for a 2005 crash that killed April Mulry, whose husband Brian and five-week-old daughter were in the car with her.
"Once I got that phone call today, it just shot right back into my head and it was like it happened yesterday. It’s not like I’ve forgotten anything, I live with it every day," Mulry said.
Mulry was outraged, not only that Slinger had been arrested and accused of causing another crash, but also that he was allowed to post bond. After his arrest for the 2005 crash, Slinger also posted bond and was later arrested for another OWI crash as he awaited trial.
"The fact that he was even able to bond out is absurd, it’s absurd. ... I’m sick to my stomach," Mulry said.
Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper told FOX59 that it is the jail and a judge who allow for bond and that his office is not involved in that process.
"Bond has nothing to do with us. ... Nothing's been submitted to my office as of yet," Cooper said Monday.
A man who answered the door at Slinger's address said no one would comment on the latest arrest.
As for Black, he said that he hoped the case would move forward and that he was grateful for the tipster who led police to make an arrest.
"At least now we have a name and a person to go with the vehicle, to go along with all of this. ... Probably within the next couple days we’ll be able to really absorb it all and soak it all in," Black said.
Tennell said drugs or alcohol are not suspected in the latest crash.
According to the Johnson County Jail, Slinger posted a $200 cash bond with $1,000 surety. He faces a Level 6 Felony for Failure to stop after a motor vehicle accident causing serious bodily injury to another person. He had not been issued a court date as of Monday night.