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In Baltimore, even an alleged murderer can get bail

Phillip Stanley West, a 48-year-old Baltimore man turned himself in to police Monday in connection with a fatal shooting at a Fells Point bar in December. Police issues a warrant for him in December in connection with the killing of Rodney Steven Beamon Jr. of Cincinnati. The shooting took place at a Fells Point bar.

The fact that Baltimore District Judge Michael Studdard granted bail and released a person accused of murdering another person sets a new low in legal standards (“Judge grants bail to Baltimore man accused of barroom murder in Fells Point,” Jan. 17). It also set some new standards for if you can get released on bail after being charged in a homicide.

The big factor in granting Phillip Stanley West bail was that he owned property in Baltimore and hadn’t shot anybody else in the last 15 years. So it appears if you plan to pull out a 9 mm pistol and kill someone, make sure you own property in Baltimore to ensure you can get bail.

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The attorney for Mr. West said of the decision: “Judge Studdard was very thoughtful in his decision making and I am proud of him.” That definitely brings a tear to my eye. The article stated that the victim was shot multiple times, obviously making sure of his inevitable demise.

The moral of this story is be careful who you shoot pool with and ask first if he owns property in Baltimore. Wonder if property values will go up with criminal elements flocking to buy property in the city?

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Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore

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