BALTIMORE — Phillip West had turned himself in.
Baltimore Police said he shot and killed a man in a Fells Point bar days before Christmas but Wednesday, faced with first and second-degree murder and a slew of gun charges, Judge Michael Studdard still set the bail at only 100 thousand dollars.
West posted that bail and is now at home on electronic monitoring.
“At a time when communities are already deeply, deeply concerned about violence...that we put public safety first and it's frustrating to see this type of decision,” Baltimore Councilman Zeke Cohen said.
Cohen, who represents Fells Point, was astounded at the decision...as was the interim police commissioner and city state's attorney Marilyn Mosby who said in an unrelated press conference yesterday...her prosecutors wanted no bail for Mr. West.
“We made a recommendation that this individual be held without bail and unfortunately he wasn’t.”
And so, Mosby's office asked yet again.
Thursday, the Baltimore state's attorney filed a motion to revoke the bail of Phillip West arguing again that he is, indeed a flight risk and a threat to public safety.
Among the reasons the assistant state’s attorney claims the evidence against West is “overwhelming” and that several witnesses observed him “publicly execute” the victim.
Governor Larry Hogan is inclined to agree, even as Judge Michael Studdard was his appointee in 2016.
Hogan has been very vocal about what he calls the leniency of judges, particularly in Baltimore.
He plans to address it this session with what he called judicial transparency legislation.
“This kind of thing happens far too often,” the Governor said, “If somebody was charged with a crime like that, it seems like they shouldn’t be right back on the streets.”
But West's attorney Kenneth Ravenell called the judge's action thoughtful and points out how his client turned himself in and while he has a record on federal drug charges, has no history of violence.
A hearing on the state's attorney’s motion to revoke his bail has yet to be set.