SPRINGFIELD — Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said Thursday a judge’s setting of $50,000 cash bail for a murder defendant is “a terrifying precedent and one that I don’t want to see repeated.”
On Wednesday, Hampden Superior Court Judge David Ricciardone set bail at $50,000 for Rafael Martinez, charged with the Oct. 30, 2016, fatal shooting of Eddie Olivo in Springfield.
Martinez, 35, of Springfield, had been held without right to bail since his arraignment after the shooting. Nikolas Andreopoulos, Martinez’s lawyer, had asked for the bail hearing Wednesday.
“This cannot happen — where we have murderers getting out on bail,” Gulluni said.”This presents the likelihood of flight.”
“What is the court system becoming for the community it is supposed to serve?” Gulluni asked. He said he believed Martinez will post bail in the case.
Ricciardone said if Martinez posts bail he will be outfitted with a GPS tracking device and have a curfew mandating he is home between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Gulluni said a GPS tracking device can be cut off by a defendant who can then flee. He said a murder defendant, even after posting $50,000 cash bail, would have incentive to flee as opposed to facing life in prison.
He said it is unprecedented to have bail set for a murder defendant unless there are mitigating circumstances such as a suppression of evidence or a change in the case.
Andreopoulos had asked Ricciardone to set bail at $30,000, saying that was the amount his family could raise. Assistant District Attorney Matthew W. Green asked Ricciardone to order Martinez continued to be held without right to bail.
“Indeed, I’m frustrated,” Gulluni said. “Enough is enough.”
He said Martinez shot the victim seven times as he (the victim) sat in the driver’s seat of his car.
Police found Olivo, 36, shot inside a 1999 Saab in Martinez’s 30 Jardine St. driveway in the Liberty Heights neighborhood. The shooting happened about 10:30 a.m.
Green told Ricciardone in the bail hearing that the facts of the case are strong for the prosecution.
Police found the victim slumped over in the driver’s seat. Martinez had a white towel in his hand, which he put on the ground and which contained a gun, Green said.
Both Green and Andreopoulos referred to surveillance video of the shooting from Martinez’s own security camera.
Green said the two men knew each other and were friends. He said Olivo’s girlfriend had lent Martinez $30,000 from the sale of her house, but she had trouble getting it back.
Andreopoulos said it is clear the shooting was self-defense. He said the video does show Martinez shooting into the car. It then shows Olivo getting out of the car, bleeding, but holding a shotgun, he said.