How Often Do Murder Suspects Get Out On Bond

A Tulsa Police officer accused of killing a 19-year-old man is out of jail. On Friday a judge set Shannon Kepler's bond at $825,000. His wife, Gina Kepler bonded him out.

His release has people wondering how often first degree murder suspect gets out of jail.

"From what I have seen in my experience most of the time they don't get released," said Jason Edge, a criminal defense attorney with Edge law firm.

Edge said while most first degree murder suspects stay in jail, about half of them are granted bond.

"for example I have had two recent murder charges in two different counties that I have handled with clients. One was held with no bond and there were reasons for that. One is out on bond and that bond is a lower amount than this particular police officer is out on," Edge said.

According to Edge the reason most suspects stay behind bars is because it's too expensive for them to bond out. In Kepler's case, a judge set a $825,000 bond, which means he needed a minimum of $82,500 to get out of the Tulsa County Jail. As for why a judge offered Kepler a bond, Edge said the judge is required to look at a number of factors including criminal history, employment history, ties to the community and whether or not the suspect is a flight risk. On Friday Kepler's defense attorney argued that Kepler has no criminal history, a stable work record and is not a flight risk.

"In my mind a judge that sees a serious crime, but then sees a number of other things weighing towards giving a person bond, a judge is only just doing their job," Edge said.

The victim's family thinks otherwise. They believe Kepler needed to stay behind bars.

"To hear that he did get bond really bothers me because I don't think if you do something that horrendous that you should be allowed bond for it," said Carl Morse, Jeremey's father.

But criminal defense attorney Edge said what most people don't understand is a bond is meant to assure appearance in court. Not punish the suspect. It's ultimately up to a jury to determine that.

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