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2/28/2010 6:00:00 AM
Fried questions bond amount
Activist needed $1,500 for release after arrest

Suzanne Adams-Ockrassa
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - When does a bond become excessive? Resident Mervin Fried was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing Feb. 16 after he attempted to enter the Mohave County Administrative Building with a pitchfork after a political protest.

He had to pay $1,500 in order to bond out of jail, an amount he feels is excessive, especially since the most he can be fined if found guilty of the charge is $500.

He had friends and some savings that he used to bond out, but he asked about the people in jail waiting their time before a judge who don't have the funds.

Fried brought the question up before Judge John Taylor in Cerbat Justice Court Wednesday morning.

According to Fried, the judge told him that he felt the bond was reasonable.

"A judge considers what it will take to make a defendant appear in court. They usually look at what kind of assets a defendant might have; if they have a job and what ties they have to the community," said Mohave County Deputy County Manager of Criminal Justice Services Dana Hlavac.

It also depends on the seriousness of the crime, he said.

Mike Kapfer of A-Jax Bail Bonds didn't think that $1,500 was an unreasonable bond, but then he's seen a wide range of bonds issued for defendants who are charged with the same crime.

"You almost never see two bonds set the same way. It depends on the situation," he said.

Kapfer said he's seen bond for class 3 misdemeanors range from about $500 to $2,500.

It is supposed to be based off of what a person can reasonably pay and what will entice a person to return to court, but a lot of it is up to the discretion of the judge, he said.

Fried's next hearing is set for March.

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• Mervin Fried, of Kingman, acquitted in pitchfork trespass case

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 1, 2010
Article comment by: THE TRUTH WILL SET HIM FREE

You said it P-Rod! It's saddening & sick but, this is how it has been for many years all over the nation & possibly the world.

Posted: Monday, March 1, 2010
Article comment by: Mouth of the South

Actually, there is some concern with the bail here. The Constitution guarantees reasonable bail. We reduce the bond for a rapist (see the article in the Miner) but we don't reduce the bond for a protester? Hmmmm.

Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2010
Article comment by: Get A. Life

Poor Mervin...another case of the typical criminal mentality. HE makes the CHOICE to commit a crime and then turns it around to play the victim because his bail is too high. I'll contribute a used tea bag to his cause.

Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2010
Article comment by: P- Rod

County "bored", county manager, county sheriff, and county judge. What else could have happened? Judges are just as much in the "good ol' boys" pockets as everyone else is!

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