The Bail Project previously behind one of many bonds for suspected killer now on the run
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Bail Project, one of two local bond groups recently criticized for bailing violent offenders out of jail, had also posted bail for a man who police would later say went on the run after killing his ex-girlfriend, shooting her 10-year-old child twice and kidnapping their baby.
The group previously paid a $5,000 bail for Chris Gordon, a murder suspect who police have been searching for since Sunday evening.
The bond documents were signed for by the organization’s local leader, Shameka Parrish-Wright, who is also a candidate for Louisville Mayor.
“There are people in my life that I would bail out,” Representative Jason Nemes said on the floor of the House of Representatives Tuesday. “There are people in my life that I wouldn’t bail out, because I know they are a danger to themselves and a danger to the community.”
House Bill 313, or Madelynn’s Law, aims to restrict bond groups from posting bonds that are $5,000 or more. It passed to the Senate with a vote of 76 to 19.
The vote comes on the one year anniversary of the death of Madelynn Troutt, a teenager killed in a crash by a man on a “drugged-out crime spree,” according to police. The man, Michael Dewitt, had been bailed out by the same group just days before.
A WAVE News Troubleshooter investigation found he had a lengthy criminal record that included more than 10 arrests.
“The Bail Project did not do a proper background check,” Nemes said. “They didn’t make phone calls to connect with his connections to determine who this person is.”
In a statement, The Bail Project said “it’s a stretch” to connect Gordon’s latest homicide case to the organization since they’d bailed him out years before in June 2018 for an escape charge.
Not long after they bailed Gordon out, and since then, Gordon has racked up multiple convictions for domestic violence, emergency protective orders and violations of probation.
But, WAVE News Troubleshooters wanted to see Gordon’s public record at the time The Bail Project decided to post his bond. The records showed a total of nine arrests before June 2018, when he was bonded out.
The charges include terroristic threatening, wanton endangerment, stolen firearm, possession of firearms, two separate arrests for breaking into a girlfriend’s house, and three additional arrests for domestic violence.
Gordon was also convicted of reckless homicide in 2009 and sentenced to five years. He was arrested for shooting and killing another teen over a stolen moped.
Two months after Gordon got out of prison in 2013, he was arrested yet again for pointing a gun at a man and threatening to shoot him. He was sentenced to three years in prison after that conviction.
WAVE News Troubleshooters also found two orders of protection filed by women against Gordon in March, 2009 and February 2016. Both of those orders, well before Gordon was bailed out, are also public record.
Wright did not agree to an interview, but did refer our questions to the organization’s main media contact, who provided the following statement:
“I think it’s a stretch to connect this to The Bail Project. Mr. Gordon received bail assistance from our Louisville office nearly 4 years ago on a case that is already closed. As you probably know, he got probation. So he was convicted, but the courts decided he should not be incarcerated. Since then, he’s had other cases where judges set bail or released him into home incarceration. He did not receive assistance from The Bail Project in those instances.”
Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.