Bond too low for Topeka homicide defendant, victims’ family says
LaToya Austin believes John W. Towner Jr. is too dangerous for a $100,000 bond — an amount low enough, she said, she worries the man accused of shooting her brother and father could be released.
Judges determine bond with recommendations from prosecutors and defense attorneys. A defendant’s flight risk, threat to witnesses and potential danger to the community are considered, among other things, said Corey Rayburn Yung, a University of Kansas professor who specializes in criminal law and procedure.
“There is an enormous amount of discretion afforded to judges about the amount of bail they set,” he said.
Bonds vary in Shawnee County, but generally first-degree murder charges carry around $1 million bonds.