Baker’s bond remains the same


By Meladi Brewer

GREENVILLE — Dean M. Baker’s bond remains the same after an evidentiary hearing Monday in the Common Pleas Court. Judge Jonathan P. Hein presided.

Baker, 35, of Greenville, is a suspect in connection to the death of Corey Fleming, and Assistant State Prosecutor Deborah Quigley had originally advised the court that the state would like to set the bond at $150,000, but she wished to modify bail, given the results of the current election where courts can now take community safety into further consideration

Baker had previously posted bail on Nov. 10 and was subjected to a house arrest ankle monitor with no freedom to work. Defense Attorney Patrick Mulligan said Baker is doing what he is supposed to be doing, as it relates to his office.

“We would respectfully request the bond be made the same because he is doing what he should be doing,” Mulligan said.

Quigley advised the court the state would address the court’s previous reference to the legislature saying it is her belief the “constitutional amendment went into effect immediately.” She pulled up Issue 1 and read it to the court.

“If passed the amendment will be effective immediately,” Quigley said. “I believe community safety is something the court should take into consideration.”

Judge Hein addressed Quigley stating he has always considered public safety.

“First, Ms. Quigley, don’t misstate my position on bail. I have always, always, forever considered public safety,” Judge Hein said. “Your characterization the court does not is inaccurate.”

Judge Hein said the law is that public safety is not effective on the dollar amount, and the next set of rules say the conditions of bail consider public safety. “In every prior case, I have considered public safety, usually in the context of limiting a person’s ability to go some place with or without a work release, who they can and cannot contact, and house arrest bracelet or not.”

“DuBose is still the rule I follow. Rule 46 is the basis of your motion. I have to know the law, and when rules change because the Constitution is amended, there’s enabling legislation that tells me and courts what to do,” Judge Hein said.

Judge Hein used the example of Victim’s Right Law stating it was passed by the voters and it took three years to tell the court what those rights were. He said he cannot just make the law up and has to wait for the legislature to say what the rules and statutes are.

“I’m not willing to go rogue because there was a crisis,” Judge Hein said.

Quigley said the state would like to note the defendant has repeatedly said he ‘only needs one day out,’ and that does not mean the first, second, or third days, but just a day.

“He is targeting the witness and attempting to send his brother to her apartment. He has also repeated threats to the state’s witness, and the state does not have the confidence in the ankle monitor to protect others in this situation,” Quigley said.

She had previously advised the court the state’s recommended bail of $250,000 was based on Baker being a flight risk, having allegedly fled the state once the case came into the limelight. The state would have liked to raise the bail to $750,000 having considered the public safety within the bail.

Judge Hein advised he is not allowed to set an impossibility regarding bail, and if the state wished to ask for no bail, they would need to file accordingly and plead their case. He said bail with limitations does consider the public’s safety, and limitations can always be reevaluated.

“Everybody is allowed to fear monger all they want. I’m going to act on the facts as they exist, and not what everyone is capable of doing,” Judge Hein said.

He advised everybody is capable of homicide, and the court cannot act on supposition but act on the facts. Judge Hein considers public safety with the conditions of bail and that is why Baker has a “house arrest bracelet with no work privileges.” It is likely Baker will see limitations of no contact ranging from no contact with the witnesses to no contact with anyone but his lawyer.

“I don’t mind the criticism. I’m supposed to deal with the facts, not emotion,” Judge Hein said.

Mulligan advised the court of the facts stating Baker has no law violations post bail. “He is doing what he is supposed to be doing, and he’s on electronic monitoring.”

Judge Hein kept the bail at the same previously set amount.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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