'Rare' bond in capital murder case of pregnant Montgomery mom sparks anger
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A Montgomery family is outraged after the man accused of killing a woman and her unborn child is granted bond.
Prosecutors say it's a surprising move in a capital murder case and they're firing back at the decision as the victim's family voices their concerns.
This year, Willie Smith will miss the fun rivalry he used to have with his daughter, Lakoya Brown, 24, during football season.
"She was a very loving, kind young lady. She liked to talk about Auburn all the time and I used to like talking about Alabama with her. That's what we used to argue about, Auburn and Alabama on game day," he said.
He knew something was wrong when he texted her about the game and she didn't respond.
Brown was 23 weeks pregnant, expecting her fourth child, last November when she was shot and killed in Montgomery.
It happened at her home on Rialto Drive, off of Wares Ferry Road when she tried to break up a fight between her boyfriend, Tyrone Woods, and his brother, Raymond Woods.
Tyrone owed Raymond money and they were arguing. According to officials, Lakoya got between the brothers in an effort to defuse the situation when Raymond shot his brother and Lakoya and then left the scene of the crime.
He was taken into custody after Alabama State Troopers found him on Interstate-85.
Tyrone Woods has since recovered from his injuries.
Lakoya Brown lost her baby, a girl she planned to name Tymeria Brown Woods, on the same day as the shooting. She passed away the following day.
"Everyone was looking forward to the baby coming and it's just a tragedy to get a phone call like that," Willie said.
Raymond Woods is charged with two counts of capital murder and attempted murder.
He was denied bond by District Judge Troy Massey back in January.
Woods requested another bond hearing and appeared in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Aug. 10 before Judge William Shashy.
Lakoya's relatives were there to observe the hearing. They have been following the court case of her accused killer every step of the way.
"It's important for me to be there because of my daughter and my grandchild. It's real hard and it's hard for me to sit here right now and talk about it. But I have to be strong because I have other grandkids that I have to be strong for. I must make sure that they do the right thing about it," Willie Smith said.
The victim's family was appalled by the judge's actions during the proceedings. They said he was extremely unprofessional and indicated several times that he is looking forward to retiring in December.
Lakoya Brown's cousin, David Smith, says that as the prosecutor was addressing why Woods shouldn't be granted bond, the judge was not paying attention and turned around to deal with his cell phone and asked the deputy district attorney to repeat what he was saying.
"We couldn't believe that he was more paying attention to his cell phone," David Smith said. "The victim's family is sitting there trying to make sure that justice is being done for my cousin, but he didn't have any respect for that."
Shashy then granted Woods bond on his charges: $49,000 on each count of capital murder and $2,000 for attempted murder.
In exchange for posting a bond, a bail bondsman charges a non-refundable fee. Usually, it's 10 percent of the amount of bail, which is $10,000 in Woods' case.
Woods' attorney says he called 911 after the shootings, but the victim's family says he only made the call after he was already on the run, trying to get away.
When asked about the bond, District Attorney Daryl Bailey stated that it's "very rare" for a bond to be given in a capital murder case in Montgomery County.
"We strenuously object and argued for no bail, which is customary for every capital case in the county," he added.
The District Attorney's Office filed a motion Aug. 12, asking the court to consider setting a bond for Woods.
Prosecutors are asking the court to reinstate the "no bond" on capital murder charges on several grounds.
"The Defendant fled the scene and a BOLO had to be put out to locate the Defendant; The Defendant was actually apprehended by State Troopers in Macon County as he was fleeing; The Defendant admitted to the detectives that he did fire the weapon; The Defendant has demonstrated that he is a threat to the community and is a flight risk," Deputy District Attorney Kenneth Gibbs wrote in the motion.
As of Aug. 12, Raymond Woods was listed as an inmate in the Montgomery County Detention Facility but the jail's website indicated that he's secured bond on his attempted murder charge.
Lakoya's loved ones hope he doesn't get the chance to walk the streets as he awaits trial. They're worried he won't show up for court when the time comes.
"I'm upset now. It hurt me. I went home and I had to be strong but I admit I had to cry for a minute. I went to the cemetery and just sat beside the grave. It's tearing me up," her father said. "I don't think he needs to be on the streets because I think if he was trying to run the first time, he'll try to run again. I hope we can keep him locked up and we can move forward. We won't have closure but we'll feel better if he's behind bars. I would like for them to punish him. He never needs to see daylight again."
The victim's family, meanwhile, plans to file a complaint against Judge Shashy with the Judicial Inquiry Commission.
Calls to the judge's office Friday were not returned.
"Why would a man get a bond that killed an innocent young lady and her unborn baby and shot his own brother? I don't think he's worthy of a bond. I think he's supposed to be locked up until they find him guilty or whatever may be," her cousin added. "Somebody else might be his next victim. We have to stop it somewhere to keep more victims from happening, more people from getting shot. If they kill someone and they let them right back out on the street, that's not doing the right thing."
Shashy wasn't the only one who raised eyebrows this week in the courtroom.
Another Montgomery County judge refused to revoke the probation of a woman who was arrested after police say she left her child in a hot car in the Ann Street Walmart parking lot.
Javonda Weeks was charged with contributing to the dependency of a minor in July after police say they found her shopping in Walmart while her 7-month-old son remained in the car.
Weeks was on probation at the time of her arrest after pleading guilty in 2015 for aggravated child abuse.
The judge stated that he believed the incident to be an accident, and didn't want to keep Weeks from her children. She bonded out of jail on Wednesday as she waits for her case to move forward in the court system.
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