Mraz blasts bail drop for suspect in fatal Fairfield shooting

By From page A1 | May 02, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A Solano County Superior Court judge’s decision to lower from $1 million to $25,000 the bail for a defendant in a homicide case is irresponsible, Fairfield City Councilman John Mraz said.

“I can’t believe this,” he said of Judge Wendy G. Getty’s bail order Tuesday for Malik Howse.

Howse, 20, of Fairfield, faces felony charges of being an accessory to a murder and possessing a stolen firearm in the April 19 shooting death of Gustavo Banda, 27, a father of two from Fairfield, killed in the homicide near Union Avenue just north of Travis Boulevard.

“You’ve got someone implicated in a murder being able to walk free on $25,000 bail,” Mraz said.

Mraz, referring to his support for a higher bail schedule in Solano County Superior Court, which he says will address released defendants committing crimes while awaiting trial, said, “We’re tying to do something about this revolving door.”

“And she opens the door,” he said of the judge.

“I don’t know what’s on this lady’s mind,” Mraz said of Getty. “I know it’s not justice.”

The judicial assistant to the judge said in a voice mail message, “Judges are not ethically permitted to comment on a pending case.” Reasons for a decision ordered in court are given on the record during proceedings, the assistant said.

The family of shooting victim Banda has said he belonged to a gang in Southern California but was not an active gang member in Solano County. Roxana Banda, 21, said her brother was at a party and got a phone call from someone – the family doesn’t know who – that he answered and led to this death.

“They had everything set up,” she said of her brother’s killers.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 26 comments

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  • Tom ChalkMay 01, 2014 - 8:20 pm

    John Mraz is right. The revolving door needs to stop. And the DA needs to stop cutting criminals loose just because he might not have the tightest of cases.

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  • highly pist offMay 02, 2014 - 2:13 am

    Wow what was she thinking. ......smh!

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  • Huh?May 02, 2014 - 12:15 pm

    I'm not drawing the connection between this article and the last part of your comment. The DA sought $1 mil in bail. It was the judge who reduced it. So in response to your last statement with, "just because he might not have the tightest of cases", I say, cases are only as good as the investigation. I want crime to stop too but I'm not willing to throw people in jail when there is a lack of evidence that they committed the crime. We have a system: cops need to bring good evidence, prosecutors need to be effective at imparting that evidence, judges need to be fair and objective AND KNOW criminal law. Not all judges that get the criminal calendar are experts in the field of criminal law. Some spent their careers as family law lawyers, personal injury attorneys, etc... I think this particular situation will send a message to the rest of the judges to be on notice. This leniency is NOT going unnoticed.

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  • Skeptic ScroogeMay 02, 2014 - 2:12 am

    Wow! Mraz is brave! That guy could post bail and read this and get mad... Great to see him represent the good citizens, not the felons that cant vote anyway.

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  • JBMay 02, 2014 - 5:01 am

    I hate to agree with a council person but this is truly one of the worst decisions a judge could make. The grand jury should look into this one.

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  • 2realMay 02, 2014 - 6:23 am

    What did i say, the county would rather make a few grand then to keep us safe!!.

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  • Oscar delvechioMay 02, 2014 - 6:49 am

    This is why Fairfield is going down hill

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  • GemmaMay 02, 2014 - 6:59 am

    You did say that, yesterday I believe, and in my head I completely agreed. I was beginning to feel like Repeat Rita, saying it's the DA's office whose at fault for crimes not being punished. It's not the cops-they do their job by arresting people. They can't control the stooges tapping them on the wrists, and releasing them with probation reinstated. The love of money is the root of all evil, and look how it's playing out here. Just pitiful.

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  • Rich GiddensMay 02, 2014 - 6:54 am

    truly disgusting-----the manner in which I'm treated by your disloyal thugs as compared to how a murderer is treated. Your government is communist and your government is disgusting.

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  • clancyMay 02, 2014 - 8:18 am

    I wish I could vote for Fairfield city council Maraz would have my vote I live in Suisun work In Fairfield am in Fairfield a lot what happens there affects me and my family. Does any know if there is truth that the shooter was bailed out by the victims sister? I guess I would call him a victim we all know he was a thug

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  • Bill of RightsMay 02, 2014 - 8:20 am

    I understand motions to reduce bail. But Solano County judges have completely lost sight of the big picture. There is a fear among these judges that drives them to be wet noodles on the bench nowadays. Defense attorneys take advantage of this weakness daily. But the main problem is back out on the streets, committing crimes again, and placing citizens in danger. The bail schedule needs to be addressed. But a judge can increase or decrease the bail for cited reasons. This decision is just plain absurd. Very sad.

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  • S KMay 02, 2014 - 8:46 am

    Do these Judges have to run to be re-elected, or just appointments???? Because if elected, let us ALL remember her name, and remind each other before the election, that her name and others like her come up on the ballot, so we can say, "YOU'RE FIRED!!!!!"

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  • RoseMay 02, 2014 - 11:04 am

    Sometimes they are appointed by the Governor. Once appointed, they, like the rest of the bench, have to be elected back into the seat. Unseating a sitting judge is very difficult. Unless they do something egregious that inflames the voters, they stay where they are. The last incumbent judge that lost his seat that I can remember was Dennis Bunting. If memory serves correctly, he released a sexual predator back to his home. Unfortunately, the predator lived next door to the victim. This created a firestorm and Harry Kinnicut ran against him and won. Bunting is now Solano County's County Council.

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  • clancyMay 02, 2014 - 8:33 am

    And of course she can't comment. Maybe the Daily Republic could print her record and that of all the judges do we can be more informed

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  • LarryMay 02, 2014 - 8:42 am

    Councilman John Maraz, thank you for your comment. As a former Policeman you should know more about our legal system than the people who are currently making their personal comments concerning this subject. This man is being charge of being an accessory to a murder and possessing a stolen firearm. There are factors that can be determined to reduce one's bail that you did not mention in your article. Is he on probation, is he a felon, any prior conviction. Also, just because a person is facing charges does not incident that the evidence that was collected warrant the charges. Any efforts for a higher bail schedule will only be appeal. Welcome all to our judicial system

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  • clancyMay 02, 2014 - 8:54 am

    Larry. Thank you. I thought it was the shooter who got his bail reduced. I must have misread or the article was not clear So the actual shooter is still in jail ? Still there needs to be some way to keep the shooters and all their accomplices locked up.

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  • clancyMay 02, 2014 - 9:03 am

    SK .. Thank you I wasn't sure either. I was informed they are elected but sometimes appointed. So. Daily Republic please inform us if appointed who is doing the appointing the judges so we can get rid of them ad well.

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  • ConstitutionMay 02, 2014 - 9:07 am

    First off, the judge did what she was suppose to do. The defendant was arrested for murder, but the DA only charged him with accessory AFTER the fact. Bail was set per schedule. You cant set bail for murder if the defendant isn't charged with murder. The police arrested this guy for a crime he wasn't guilty for. The DA recognizes what crime he did commit, charged it and the judge set the bail per the bail schedule for that crime, not some number she picked out of the air. As for Mraz, when his buddy Frank Kardo was arrested for a felony (Frank was a councilmember too), Mraz was by his side the whole time supporting him. Mraz thinks he can decide who should be incarcerated and who shouldn't. After his conviction at trial, Frank took the cowardly way out and hung himself. I guess that was justice.

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  • clancyMay 02, 2014 - 9:52 am

    So. Where is the shooter? And we should have special circumstances for gang members

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  • LarryMay 02, 2014 - 12:43 pm

    What does this comment has to do with this article. NOTHING.

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  • ConstitutionMay 02, 2014 - 2:13 pm

    CLANCY: The shooter is in custody, bail set at $1mil. And there are gang enhancements. Problem with the blogs is that most people comment on things they don't have full knowledge of

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  • clancyMay 02, 2014 - 5:10 pm

    Constution , thank you for the answer. I was asking because I know I don't always know what I'm talking about .

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  • CD BrooksMay 02, 2014 - 5:27 pm

    Hysterical! “I don’t know what’s on this lady’s mind,” Mraz said of Getty. “I know it’s not justice.” Really? How about this for justice-why not increase fines for traffic violations and enforce those for a change? Just sayin...

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