Lancaster County attorney explains how court determines bond amount
Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon explained why some bonds may be higher than others.
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – In the recent case of Jake Gonzalez, the man who is accused of killing a two-year-old Fairbury boy, bond was set at $15 million.
“We’ve had five and $10 million bonds around here, but $15 million, one of the higher amounts that I’ve seen,” Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon said. “I think it’s appropriate to the nature of the charge, and the history of the individual.”
Now in another case that didn’t involve a killing, some were surprised at how low a bond was set. A Colorado man was arrested on a federal weapons charge. This stemmed from a March traffic stop on I-80 in Lancaster County.
Adam Vannoy had been pulled over for speeding. Authorities say they found several weapons, a loaded AR style semi-automatic rifle with an illegal silencer, four handguns, bulletproof vest and blanket, an Air Force costume and wigs as well as marijuana.
His bond was set at $50,000. He was released after paying $5,000. After that, officials say an Iowa gun store refused to sell a gun to Vannoy after he made remarks saying he was surprised his friends didn’t think he was the Boulder, CO mass shooter.
Condon says the weapons were not illegal and there was no written plan found that would cause more concern. That was part of the reason for the amount of his bond.
The court also looks at the nature of the crime when setting bonds. The more serious the crime, the more people are likely to flee.
“Bonds aren’t made to keep people in jail because of the crime that’s charged,” Condon said. “It’s to make sure that they appear in court for those crimes.”
Condon also mentioned officials will look at affidavit’s of probable cause and arrest filed in court. Public safety is also taken into concern. At the end of the day, it’s up to the judge, and Condon says even court leaders will sometimes second guess themselves.
“We can always learn from incidences that happen, and we should always continue to learn.”