Another person charged with murder after Bail Project pays bail for previous charges

Indianapolis Area Crime

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indy man is facing murder charges in the death of 24-year-old Dylan McGinnis. This is related to a deadly Oct. 1 deadly shooting on the near east side. Travis Lang is accused of murdering McGinnis.

Court documents show the Bail Project paid bail for Lang in January, helping with his pre-trial release, for a possession of cocaine charge. At the time, Lang also had three felony cases pending for burglary, breaking and entering and resisting law enforcement.

This is the second man in two months that this organization has helped fund bail for previous charges before the person is charged with murder.

McGinnis was killed in the 2900 block of E. 11th Street. Court documents detail an alleged drug deal between Lang and a woman while McGinnis sat in the vehicle where the shooting happened. Police confirmed McGinnis was not involved in this deal.

We spoke with Nikki Sterling, McGinnis’ mom, who said her son cared deeply about people and he was at the scene to help a friend who struggles with substance abuse issues.

“His family, his friends, the broken, the outcasts, perfect strangers,” Sterling said. “He was there to always help them which, you know, unfortunately, got him into the situation that he was in on Oct. 1, being there for a friend.”

Sterling explained what justice looks like to her.

“I pray for justice every day and when I pray for justice, it’s not relying faithfully on any court system,” Sterling said. “It’s relying heavily and faithfully on our God.”

We requested interviews with the Bail Project, but they sent a statement instead. It reads:

“The Bail Project – Indianapolis paid a portion of Mr. Lang’s bail nine months ago and his family paid a portion through a bail bonds agent. Mr. Lang has a very supportive family and had no history of violence. The Bail Project – Indianapolis successfully supported him in returning to all of his court dates for his pending cases. It’s important to remember that Mr. Lang is only charged with the current allegations, and it will be up to a judge and jury to determine if those charges have any merit.”

– David Gaspar, National Director of Operations at The Bail Project

Again, this is at least the second person in less than six months who has been charged with murder after the Bail Project paid for bail in prior cases. Marcus Garvin was charged with murder in the death of 30-year-old Christie Holt, his ex-girlfriend, in late July.

Garvin was charged with battery by means of a deadly weapon and battery resulting in serious bodily injury for a stabbing at a Circle K on Shadeland Avenue on Dec. 26, 2020. Documents said he was irritated the victim was in the bathroom too long.

Garvin’s initial bond was set at $30,000, but Judge Shatrese Flowers lowered it to $1,500 with GPS monitoring. The state objected to lowering the bond. Garvin’s public defender reached out to the Bail Project to pay for Garvin’s release. In Garvin’s case, the program released this statement to FOX59:

“We received a referral for bail assistance from Mr. Garvin’s public defender in January after the court lowered his bail from $30k to $1.500 and imposed GPS monitoring as a condition of release. As we do with all referrals, we interviewed Mr Garvin to gather information about his legal history, his ability to return to court, and to identify any unmet needs. He had a stable place to live with family and a plan to return to court to resolve his case.

Generally speaking, we take several factors into consideration, including the types of needs the person might have and whether we can connect them to adequate services. In this case, the bail reduction was a key factor in the decision as it indicated that the court wanted to facilitate his release.” 

David Gaspar, National Director of Operations at The Bail Project.

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