Sunday, April 24, 2022

Are judges now advocates for violent criminals?

Prosecutors and police are outraged after a judge granted bond, over the state's objections, to an alleged gang member who is accused of shooting an Atlanta police officer six times in February. 

Atlanta police officer David Rodgers was shot six times on February 7, 2022, reportedly while attempting to execute a warrant on Christian Eppinger. Atlanta police say that Eppinger is a member of the Atlanta Slime Life street gang and that he has a lengthy history of convictions for violent crime beginning from the time he was 16 years old. Police say that Eppinger previously spent four years behind bars, and that after he was released on probation, he returned immediately to a life of crime. Police accuse Eppinger of having laid in wait for Rodgers and attempting to "assassinate" him when he served the warrant. 

Rodgers survived the shooting but is still recovering.

Due to Eppinger's lengthy criminal history, and the nature of his offense, the Fulton County District Attorney opposed bond, but a magistrate judge granted Eppinger bond over the state's objections. District Attorney Fani Willis announced Wednesday that she had filed an emergency motion for reconsideration of bond, calling the decision a "judicial error" caused by an order that allows unelected magistrate judges to set bonds.

A suspect who has been charged with the murder of Hyram Hill, the son of a Philadelphia police officer who was murdered in January of this year, was in court twice in the four days after allegedly shooting Hill, according to court documents. In both cases, the court allowed him to walk free — once after sentencing him to probation for a previous charge, and once after letting him walk free on $10,000 bail for yet another previous, unrelated charge.

According to KYW-TV, 23-year-old Levar Turner has turned himself into police and has been charged with murder, robbery, and other offenses in connection with the January 24th murder of Hill, which rocked the Philadelphia community. An extremely disturbing surveillance video of the murder was released earlier this week, which played a major role in the identification of Turner as a suspect. A second suspect in the video has not yet been identified and remains at large.

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