LISTEN – Judge Increases – Even Doubles – Bail Amounts on Three Defendants
Judge Karen Orzech took the unusual step of increasing, and even doubling bail amounts requested by the state on three defendants who appeared via video from the Missoula County Jail on Monday.
First to appear was William Gill of Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, charged with felony criminal endangerment, drug possession and his fourth DUI. Deputy Missoula County Attorney Selene Koepke asked for bail of $15,000.
"The defendant had his two young children, a nine month-old and a two year-old in his vehicle with him while he was driving with a .213 BAC at one a.m.," Koepke said "He's on probation for a drug conviction out of Idaho, and this is his fourth DUI. He has multiple failures to appear He is based out of Idaho so he has no ties to the community, so he is a threat to the community and to his own children."
Orzech placed Gill back in jail on $25,000 bond, and set his next court appearance for March 8.
Judge Orzech was just getting warmed up.
Next to appear was William Smallray from Great Falls, a man that Orzech had seen in her courtroom previously and who was accused of assault and robbery.
Deputy County Attorney Koepke laid out the state's complaint.
"Your honor, in this case the state is asking for a bond of $20,000," she said. "The defendant approached the victim at the bus station and demanded his money, then punched the victim in the face 15 to 20 times. The victim indicated that he thought the defendant had brass knuckles. He was taken to St. Patrick Hospital for treatment. The defendant them left the scene and got into a wrestling match outside the Oxford Bar and he was too intoxicated for officers to interview after the altercation. We don't have this defendant's criminal history, and we are asking for $20,000 bail."
From the bench Orzech pointed to herself and said 'I have his criminal history up here', and then addressed Smallray.
"It seems like every time I see you, you've got alcohol on board and something violent happens," Judge Orzech said. "You would think that you would have learned by now that alcohol is not a good thing for you, nor is it a good thing for the people you come in contact with. I'm setting bail at $25,000 in this case."
The third defendant to appear before Judge Orzech was Rory Osborn from Yuba City, California. He was being held on several felony drug charges as well as endangering the welfare of a child. Koepke explained.
"Your honor, in this case the state is asking for bail of $50,000," she began. "The defendant had over four pounds of marijuana, possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and endangering the welfare of a child by exposing a 17 year-old boy he had picked up in California to methamphetamine."
Koepke had more information to relate to Judge Orzech.
"The defendant's criminal history out of California is 35 cycles long, it begins in 1994 and continues until 2011," she continued."He spent years in prison for drug offenses and parole violations, and he's also a convicted sex offender. As you heard, your honor, he has no contact with Missoula, and the reason he was in Missoula was to sell marijuana and establish a customer list that he could mail marijuana to in Missoula."
Judge Orzech told Osborn that given his criminal history, she was setting bail at $100,000, twice the amount asked for by the state.