By John Futty
The Columbus Dispatch
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Franklin County judge on Tuesday lowered the bond for Adam Coy, a former Columbus police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed Black man, to $1 million from $3 million.
Common Pleas Judge Stephen L. McIntosh granted a motion for reconsideration filed by Coy’s attorneys, who argued that Coy’s original bond, set Friday at his arraignment, was excessive.
The $3 million bond for Coy in the fatal shooting death of Andre Hill ran contrary to the purposes of bond, which is designed to ensure a defendant’s appearance in court and protect the community, Mark Collins told the judge.
Coy did not attend the hearing, having waived his appearance.
the Dec. 22 fatal shooting of unarmed, 47-year-old Andre Hill at a Northwest Side home, 1000 block of Oberlin Drive
Magistrate Elizabeta Saken set the original bond Friday in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. When duty Judge Kimberly Cocroft upheld the bond that afternoon, Collins said he would file the bond-modification motion with McIntosh, who was assigned to preside over the case through the traditional random drawing.
Coy’s attorneys called the original bond unconstitutionally excessive in a motion they filed electronically Sunday.
The U.S. and Ohio constitutions instruct that “excessive bail shall not be required,” Collins and Kaitlyn Stephens wrote.
They also cited an Ohio rule of criminal procedure, which says courts must release defendants “on the least restrictive conditions” that will assure the person’s appearance in court and protect public safety.
Coy, a central Ohio native “with deep roots in the central Ohio community all of his life,” has cooperated with Bureau of Criminal Identification agents “in every stop of the investigation” and voluntarily turned himself in after his indictment, they wrote.
And, in 25 years “of lawfully having a duty weapon, never once prior to Dec. 22, 2020, had he ever fired his weapon on duty,” the defense team wrote. That, they contend, and the fact that he has voluntarily surrendered all of his weapons, ensure that he isn’t a threat to public safety.
The motion contends that the $3 million bond is much higher than any bond set for law-enforcement officers charged in use-of-force deaths around the nation.
The examples provided include a $1 million bond for the Minneapolis officer charged with killing George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes and the $200,000 bond for a Dallas officer charged with fatally shooting a man she thought was a burglar but who was in his own apartment.
The bond set in Coy’s case “is three times greater than (for bond for) any other police officers charged with murder on a national level,” his attorneys wrote.
Coy was fired from the Columbus Division of Police six days after the shooting. He was indicted Feb. 3 by a Franklin County grand jury on one count each of murder and felonious assault and two counts of dereliction of duty.
(c)2021 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)