INDIANAPOLIS — The Bail Project presented information to the Marion Superior Court this week after judges suspended its support of the organization in December 2021. As FOX59 Investigates reported, the Bail Project was required to give a report to the judges with the following information in order for the court to continue their support:
- A listing of all cases by court in which bonds have been posted by the Bail Project to date. This includes the defendant’s name and cause number.
- Data including the defendant’s name and cause number for all individuals who were out on a bail project cash bond and either had a pretrial release violation filed OR were arrested on new charges; and
- The number of actual referrals made by the Bail Project to any wraparound services, including the names of those services. This should only include referrals to service providers made by the Bail Project and not the Marion County Public Defender Agency’s social workers or lists of resources provided to the individual to make contact of their own.
FOX59 does not have access to the names of people bailed out by the Bail Project, but the judges do.
The organization notes in its report a web portal that gives Marion County judges specific lists and data related to this March 2022 report. We have requested the raw data to confirm the numbers the Bail Project presented to the court.
Each judge will have his/her own login and password, and “the portal will forensically mark, track and log all activity.”
Data presented by the Bail Project shows one in four of the people it bailed out were re-arrested while on pre-trial release. However, 73% of the organization’s clients were not re-arrested for a new allegation.
The Bail Project also notes of its clients in Indianapolis, the overall appearance rate is 95% for the collective 3,686 court appearances made since the Bail Project began operating in Marion County in Dec. 2018. The organization also notes 85% of its Indy clients did not spend any additional time in jail or prison, though 15% did.
Again, this is according to the Bail Project. FOX59 has not yet independently confirmed this data.
The report also shows the project has assisted 967 people. Of those, the organization said 8% were re-arrested on misdemeanor charges, 10% on felony 6 charges, 4% on felony 5 charges, 2% on felony 4 charges, 2% on felony 3 charges, 1% on felony 2 charges and no rearrests on felony 1 charges. However, less than 1% were rearrested on murder charges.
The report cites six cases, five involving murder and one involving the stabbings of two IMPD officers, in which the Bail Project played a role in the suspects’ prior release but did not play the only role. In the Bail Project’s review of these cases, they point out decisions that they say played a role in their choices to post bond for these suspects.
We have asked for clarification if these cases include all of the times the Bail Project’s Clients were accused of murder or attempted murder.
Lang is accused of killing Dylan McGinnis on Oct. 1, 2021. The Bail Project said Lang’s public defender made the referral to the Bail Project on Dec. 31, 2020, after he spent a month in jail facing three cases. TBP said Lang’s family could not afford to pay a bail bonds agency the full amount for bond so a private company posted the $15,000 surety for the F5 burglary charge, and the Bail Project paid bond for two F6 cases.
The Bail Project reports on July 9, 2021, when Lang was re-arrested for a controlled substances criminal misdemeanor, TBP declined to pay the $150 cash bond. It was paid by someone close to Lang four days later.
TBP points out that the $15,000 surety in the burglary case and the $150 cash bond were both paid after the Bail Project posted two bonds, yet those entities have not faced the same backlash for making Lang’s release possible.
Garvin is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend Christie Holt in July 2020. Garvin was on pre-trial release at the time on a F5 battery for allegedly stabbing a man for taking too long in the bathroom at the gas station where he worked.
In that case, a judge lowered Garvin’s bond from $30,000 surety to $1,500 cash with GPS monitoring. TBP said its team declined to post the surety bond, but “the team weighed heavily the court’s decision to reduce bail as it suggested both that the court wanted to facilitate his release, and/or that the original charges may not be fully supportable.”
TBP also points to Garvin’s prior criminal history that shows Garvin was charged once with misdemeanor battery in 2012 and driving under the influence in 2011 and 2010. The organization said because he was out of the system for nearly a full decade, that played a role in their decision to pay the bond.
TBP said they also spoke with Garvin’s mother and Christie, who would allegedly become the victim in his murder case, who both told them they did not believe he represented a danger to himself or others.
Noted in the report, TBP said, “Without question, this is one of those cases where there was a terrible outcome, but as we have discussed throughout this memo, there is risk inherent in the pre-trial release system, and the real question is what we can do to minimize it.”
Deonta Williams is accused of stabbing two IMPD officers on Dec. 1, 2021. TBP points out Williams was charged in January 2021 with F4 burglary and the bond was set at $25,000 surety which the organization could not pay. But on March 8, 2021, Judge Grant Hawkins lowered the bond to $750 with electronic monitoring which TBP chose to pay.
In late July, Williams was arrested again and charged with criminal mischief. Magistrate Stanly Kroh released Williams on his own recognizance and went on to live in a homeless shelter.
TBP points out they didn’t know and the courts seemingly did not know of a “brewing mental health crisis” which would become clear after he was accused of stabbing the two IMPD officers in December. Court documents note Williams “said that he felt the city owed him because he had received a large medical bill that he could not pay and decided to take it out on the officers.”
TBP acknowledged had the organization paid more attention to the hospital visit before the stabbing, they might have caught the signs of mental health concerns.
David Lee Sparks
Sparks is one of seven people accused of fatally beating a man inside the Marion County Jail in 2020. TBP said its team was involving in Sparks’ cases of dealing in methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.
The organization said Judge Jennifer Harrison orginally set bail at $40,000 surety, but when it was reduced to $4,000 cash, which is when TBP said Sparks’ public defender contacted them. Five days later, TBP paid the bond.
Several months later, Sparks was chargd with carrying a handgun without a license, a misdemeanor charge. TBP said he remained in jail until a plea agreement was reached with the state.
For that case, Sparks was released in October 2020, he failed to appear on the case TBP was involved with, and a warrant was issued. He was taken into custody four days later.
Then, two weeks later, TBP reports Harrison released Sparks on October 22, 2020 not knowing that he was allegedly involved in committing a murder inside the jail. TBP said they were not aware either. On October 22, 2020, Sparks would not have yet been charged.
Then, a few weeks later in November 2020, Sparks was once again arrested, this time on F6 charges. TBP said Sparks stayed in jail until a plea agreement was reached. In that deal, TBP said the state dismissed the confinement, strangulation and domestic battery charges and Sparks received a sentencec of 365 days with five credit days and 355 suspended.
The Bail Project points out that decisions were made by a judge and the prosecutor which also led to Sparks’ releases.
Bostic is accused of killing Terence White on Dec. 22, 2020. The Bail Project got involved in Bostic’s 2019 case in which he was charged with F2 dealing, F6 posession and F5 carrying a handgun when def. has a prior conviction.
For that case, Bostic’s bond was originally set at $200,000 surety which the Bail Project cannot pay. But after a year of being in custody, TBP said Magistrate Patrick Murphy reduced it to $25,000 cash and then two weeks later lowered it to $2,500 cash with home detention. Then, the Bail Project posted the bond.
But, while Bostic was in jail on the drug charge, he picked up three more F5 charges. The judge set bond at $15,000 surety and TBP said a bonds agency paid it. Four months later, the murder happened in which Bostic is charged.
Smith is charged in connection to a 2020 murder of a young mother in Castleton. TBP got involved in a 2019 case in which Smith faced F5 possession of a firearm and three F6 charges.
Judge Shatrese Flowers set a $7,500 cash bond for a violation of a prior case involving electronic monitoring; Judge James Snyder set a $7,500 bond requiring a 10% payment. TBP said it posted bond on the probation violation; Smith’s family posted the other.
Eight months later, Smith was arrested and charged with murder.