A defense effort to reduce bail for the suspect in a fatal shooting on the Delaware State University campus was rejected Thursday.
Loyer D. Braden, 18, is being held in lieu of $192,000 cash bail. A judge agreed last month to boost the amount by $100,000 following the death of shooting victim Shalita Middleton, 17.
Gary Morris, an attorney representing Braden, argued that prosecutors failed to present Braden’s case to a grand jury in October, and again this month. Morris said Braden could likely make bail if the amount was reduced and changed from cash to a secured bail.
“The state has had two opportunities to indict him, and they have failed to do so,” Morris told Superior Court Commissioner Andrea Freud.
Morris also said Braden has cooperated with authorities investigating the Sept. 21 shooting.
“He has no prior record. He has a very good family support system in place,” Morris added.
Braden, from East Orange, N.J., is being held on charges of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Following the death of Middleton, a cheerleader and freshman biology major from Washington, D.C., prosecutors have said the charges against Braden will be amended.
Deputy attorney general Dennis Kelleher said Thursday that prosecutors expect to present the case to a grand jury in December and that the defense had not presented any arguments to justify reducing bail.
Freud agreed, saying the bail set by Judge Robert Young after Middleton’s death was appropriate.
Middleton was shot in the abdomen when gunfire broke out on campus Sept. 21. She died Oct. 23 at Christiana Hospital in Newark. Nathaniel Pugh III, another 17-year-old student from Washington, suffered an ankle wound in the shooting.
According to investigators, Braden was involved in a fight with another student three days before the shooting, and the two confronted each other again at a campus cafe on the night of the shooting. Middleton was among those who tried to defuse the altercation in the cafe.
Investigators said Braden left the cafe shortly after Middleton’s group departed, then began shooting at the group as they walked across campus.
© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com