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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ind. Courts - "Bond sought for suspect in fatal shooting"

That is the headline to this story today by Mark Wilson of the Evansville Courier & Press, who reports:

EVANSVILLE - Just four days after two brothers turned themselves in to face charges in a fatal Evansville shooting, the Indiana Court of Appeals made a ruling that could influence the case here.

A defense attorney on Wednesday argued that bail should be set for Darius Suggs, one of the brothers charged with murder in the shooting — something not normally granted in Indiana murder cases.

However, the appeals court ruled in an Indianapolis case that a judge erred in not considering all the evidence in a bail hearing for a murder suspect, and that the right to bail "is founded on a presumption of individual innocence."

Darius Suggs, 29, and Robert Suggs, 27, are charged in the death of 28-year-old Chavar "Nupin" Snider, who was shot in the head on South Morton Avenue on May 6. The brothers turned themselves in after a warrant was issued for their arrests on May 8.

"No witnesses said they saw him fire a weapon or that he had a weapon, if we are basing this just off probable cause," said John Brinson, lawyer for Darius Suggs.

Vanderburgh Superior Court Judge Robert Pigman took the arguments under advisement. * * *

Brinson cited the May 12 Indiana Court of Appeals ruling which overturned a Marion County judge's decision not to set bail for James Satterfield because the judge did not consider evidence of self-defense.

The appeals court ruling cited Indiana Constitution wording which says: "Murder or treason shall not be bailable, when the proof is evident, or the presumption strong."

"Thus, the denial of the right to award bail where the proof of guilt is not evident or the presumption of guilt is not strong would be a deprivation of liberty without due process of law, in violation of the Constitution, which would — rightly — call for prompt corrective action," according to the appeals ruling.

The nine-page affidavit mentioned a feud between Robert Suggs and Snider several times but did not specify what the exact issue was between the two men. However, police interviewed several people during the investigation who said the victim and one of the suspects were in an ongoing feud over their rap music.

The affidavit also was unclear on who investigators believed was involved in the gunfire. Witnesses told investigators that they believed several shots were fired during the incident. However, Snider was only shot once — in the back of the head — according to the affidavit.

The May 12th opinion in Satterfield is available here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 20, 2015 03:46 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts