Jerard Garrett (Source: Wayne County, MI Sheriff's Department)
Billy Richardson (Source: LMDC)
Murder victim Kenneth Forbes Jr. (Source: LMDC)
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One of the two men indicted Tuesday for allegedly killing a Shively teen and already charged with another murder was out of jail on a $2,500 bond.
Jerard Garrett has an extensive criminal history. He was sentenced to three years in prison for escape in 1998. He got a 15-year sentence for robbery, burglary and kidnapping in 1999. Then, in 2005, he got seven years for burglary, trafficking and possession of a handgun by a felon, but with time served, he had been out of prison for some time when he was picked up again in September 2012.
That time out of prison since his 2005 arrest with no run-ins and the fact that it was a drug trafficking case likely factored into the decision on bond, according to attorney Brian Butler.
"Jefferson County is flooded with cases that involve drugs every single day," Butler said. "Every single day judges are faced with jail overcrowding. They are faced with prisons where they have to let people out quicker."
Butler represented Garrett on October 1 when Garrett went before Judge Anne Haynie.
"My Lord," Haynie said, looking through Garrett's criminal history that day. Even so, she agreed to lower Garrett's bond from $5,000 full cash to $2,500 full cash, despite the county attorney saying "the county objects to bond reduction."
Butler no longer represents Garrett but says a lot goes into deciding bond. "Nothing in this guy's past indicated that he would ultimately be charged with murder, whether he's guilty or not guilty of it."
Garrett posted his bond the same day Butler represented him at that hearing in October. By December, police said Garrett and Billy Richardson murdered 19-year-old Kenneth Forbes Junior in the Beverage World Parking lot in Shively on December 23. Police say Garrett and Richardson killed 39-year-old Jamie Young at his home on Dumensil Street in the Parkland neighborhood on December 29.
Those who work in the court system, like Butler, know there is always a chance someone they set a bond for can commit another crime down the road.
"Judges don't have crystal balls," Butler said. "Attorneys don't have crystal balls. Prosecutors don't have crystal balls."
Judge Haynie was unavailable for comment about the case. The County Attorney said they cannot discuss an open case but stand by their original objection to lowering the bond.
Garrett is expected back in court March 18 to answer to the murder charges in the Forbes case.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:45 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:45:12 GMT
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