Many have been asking the question why Brandon Woody, who has been in trouble with the law numerous times, was allowed to walk the streets? Why wasn’t his bond for offenses been higher or even revoked?
The answers appear to be within Indiana Code 35-38-8-4 and IC 35-38-8-5 (Amount of bail; order; endorsement; facts taken into account and alteration or revocation of bail) and the overloaded courts in Kosciusko County. It wasn’t until a fight reported on at 12:45 a.m. Feb. 8 at 717 S. Huntington Street, that Woody may have qualified for a higher bond or even bond revocation.
A warrant for battery resulting in bodily injury, a class A misdemeanor, was issued that same day against not only Woody, but a known accomplice Kyle DeHart. Their bonds were set at $500 cash. DeHart’s bond was increased to $500,000 cash. Why? This was the second offense for DeHart of battery causing bodily injury. He fit within the state statute to increase bond or even have bond revoked.
The state code on bond revocation states in section B the state can present evidence relevant to a high risk of non-appearance, the defendant poses a risk to the physical safety or another person or community, to have the bail increased. Section D states the court can revoke bail or an order for release on personal recognizance with clear and convincing proof by the state that: while on bail the defendant’s agent threatened or intimidated a victim, prospective witnesses or jurors concerning the pending criminal proceedings or any other matter, defendant’s agent attempted to conceal or destroy evidence relating to the pending proceeding, violated any condition of the release order or failed to appear before the court as ordered at any critical stage of the proceedings or committed a felony or a class misdemeanor that demonstrates instability and a disdain for the court’s authorities to bring the defendant to trial. It refers to the factors in IC 35-40-6-6(1) (A) and (b).
These factors include an act or threat of physical violence or intimidation made against the victim or the immediate family of the victim, or the immediate family and the act or threat has been made by the defendant or at the direction of the defendant of harm to a victim.
Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton indicated at that time Woody had not met the criteria set forth by state statute.
Woody does have several court matters, including a bond revocation hearing, pending. But those are not scheduled until March and a jury trial in June. Why so far out?
Court hearings are scheduled based on the court’s calendar and the defendant’s attorney’s schedule. This may be several weeks or even months. The courts must also be conscious of the statute governing a defendant’s rights.
Bail is set by the courts for the various charges. There are guidelines in the state statute. In part that statute states the bail cannot be set higher than an amount reasonably required to assure the person’s appearance in court or to assure the physical safety of another person or the community if clear and convincing evidence is found. The courts are to take into account all facts relevant to the risk of nonappearance.
Woody has been out on bond awaiting other court proceedings:
Dealing in synthetic drug or a synthetic drug look a like was filed in circuit court, on Aug. 27, 2014. He was held on $4,000, however he failed to appear at a pre-trial conference on Oct. 27. The warrant then called for no bond, however a bond hearing set the new bond at $6,000 surety with a second charge of failure to appear being added. That matter is still going through the court system with the next pre-trial conference set for March 2.
Burglary resulting in bodily injury and battery by means of a deadly weapon, with co-defendant Brandon Woody, who has just been preliminarily charged with two murders, was filed in August 2013. A three-day jury trial is scheduled for June 2-4. The court will consider any proposed plea agreement by May 4. This is filed in Kosciusko County Superior Court I.
DeHart’s charges stem from an incident on April 14, 2013, in Syracuse. (Related: Syracuse Man Attacked In Home Invasion and Two Jailed For Syracuse Home Invasion) DeHart and Woody were arrested in August 2013, and charged after evidence collected at the scene was analyzed leading police to the two men.
During that incident, which occurred at 12:34 a.m. April 24, the victim reported being robbed in his home and injured in the process. K-9 units and officers from Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State Police, North Webster and Winona Lake police departments responded.
On July 29, 2014, Woody was arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of a synthetic drug or synthetic drug look-a-like substance. He was initially released on his own recognizance but bond was then set at $450 cash. A trial is set for March 17.
Woody has had seven other cases concluded in Superior Court 1 and 2 including just over 2 years at the Indiana Department of Corrections from April 5, 2010, to Nov. 14, 2012. This time was for theft, receiving stolen property and dealing in marijuana, hash oil or hashish to two years and two counts of burglary. Other charges ranged from operating a motor vehicle without ever receiving a license, several charges of possession of tobacco and illegal consumption of alcohol.
Related: DeHart Held On $1 Million Cash Bond