ATLANTA - There is outrage from the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, as well as community members and loved ones of a murdered disabled veteran, after a judge granted the suspect bond.
Tarik Vasquez, 17, was granted a $50,000 bond each for the charges of malice murder and felony murder by Magistrate Judge Jaslovelin Lall, as well as bond for other lesser charges.
Judge Lall said the prosecution failed the prove that the suspect, who was 16 at the time of the crime, would be a flight risk, pose any harm to potential witnesses, or threaten to harm anyone else.
“My client has never had any convictions or been involved with law enforcement. He is not a danger to the community,” said Vasquez's attorney, Durante Partridge, who maintains his client's innocence.
District Attorney Paul Howard expressed outrage over the decision.
“To even consider the fact that this person is released on bond, that’s outrageous,’ said District Attorney Paul Howard. “He's now charged with murder, something that he could receive life in prison, or death.”
Smith's wife implored the court against any decision for a bond, saying she felt afraid Vasquez could be released.
“I’m still afraid,” Smith said, after the ruling. “He doesn't need to be out on the street, clearly.”
Vasquez has been ordered to stay inside his house under 24-hour supervision while wearing an ankle monitor.
Randy Smith, 58, was discovered shot and killed in his family's southwest Atlanta rental home, after his wife reported him missing. Police said Smith had gone to the home to clean it up for future tenants; days before, police said he had confronted individuals who were not supposed to live there, and was working to get them out.
The Fulton County District Attorney's Office said Smith was discovered shot in the head, and his body dumped in a trash can.
Police said Vasquez, who was 16 at the time, turned himself into authorities.
Howard worked after the decision to delay the release of Vasquez, informing the court that the bond requires a signature from a Superior Court judge. Judge Lall said the bond would remain unsigned, and she would sign the document once a Superior Court judge did so, first.