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 firstname.lastname@example.org.