Missoula Chief Deputy County Attorney Jason Marks addressed the issue of bail last Friday on Talk Back. Marks said that ever since Markus Karma was released after paying his $30,000 bail, the public defender’s office has pointed to that case “in nearly every bail argument.” Marks shared these comments on Karma’s bail.

"I would just like to point out that the state requested a significantly higher bail in that case, but the Justice of the Peace that was on the bench at the time chose to set a much lower bail," Marks said. "[...] It didn't seem quite appropriate considering the gravity of the offense, but we certainly always respect the decision of the judge."

Recently, Missoula has seen three high-profile cases with bail set at one million dollars. Marks says these cases justify the high bail.

"Especially the two that are charged in relation to the stabbing at Missoula Fresh Market and the homicide at the Super 8 Motel," Marks said. "They are the very definition of risk to flee since they were in the process of fleeing when all of this occurred and were a danger to the community with their crime spree across the state. Those are the kinds of things that we would seek a very high bail on."

Bail amounts can vary for a number of reasons, including the severity of the crime, danger to the community, and whether or not the accused is likely to try to flee or tamper with evidence.