$800 bail set for each. He is a combat Marine veteran with no record. She is 8 and 1/2 months pregnant. Paycheck to paycheck .
Update- July 26th Durants made lowered bail – Prosecutor Acosta opposed ” Thank you for your service but at the end of the day a crime is still a crime.“
Fabian and Ashley Durant were gone for a few hours one morning in June, the heat index was dangerously high for many days. They left their two huskies outside each on a leash, with food and water and access to shade. Unfortunately the leash of Kovu became tangled and he could not reach shade. He subsequently died. Tragic and an accident. The Durants were charged with an A misdemeanor . And bail set at $800.
How did Porter County prosecutor John Acosta and newly appointed Judge Michael Drenth justify bail? Bail which kept them incarcerated over a week? Indiana has new legislation to end unjust pre-trial incarceration. Unnecessary incarceration has resulted in overcrowded jails, trauma to communities and families, and even death. Also individuals not convicted of a crime have spent years in jails simply because they cannot afford high bail. In 2013 the Indiana Supreme Court created a committee to study bail schedules and uniformity in counties. In 2016 new bail guidelines were passed for pilot counties with remaining counties in compliance by 2018 .
This Rule 26 and and revised bail schedule states that if the individual “does not present a substantial risk of flight or danger to themselves or others,” they should be released without bail. There are exceptions such as if the individual is on parole, probation, if the charge is related to domestic violence , etc. The new schedule mandates certain felony charges to demand bail or even remand .
The bottom line is basically misdemeanor charges should result in arrestee release, without bail.
Tragically Kovu died. At best it is a misdemeanor if there was intent- but back to bail. Were they a danger to themselves? No. Danger to others? No. On probation or parole? No. Fabian Durant is a combat veteran , Marine, with no criminal record or court proceedings. He recently started a new job- which may be in danger due to incarceration.
Ashley has no exceptions to necessitate bail. She is not a danger. Moreover for Indiana to incarcerate a woman 8 and a half months pregnant endangers her and her baby ‘s health.
Ashley’s public defender advocated for reduced bail because her pregnancy would cause a financial burden on the courts. Those pesky visits to OBs, etc. would require manpower to accompany her. Fabian’s public defender wanted Rand R. Porter County Prosecutor John Acosta , according to the NWI Times, replied to the request for Fabian to be released on own recognizance by stating ” Thank you for your service but at the end of the day a crime is still a crime.”
Yes, a crime is still a crime. And this one is a misdemeanor IF intent is proven. The police report , according to news articles and public defenders, states the a friend was at the home the entire time the huskies were out., and he has said he didn’t know that. The neighbor heard the dogs whimpering.. and called the police. The one dog was in shade, with food and water.. unfortunately the others leash was tangled. The home had no air conditioning.
The Durants lost their dog of two years to an accident. Leaving them locked in the house with no air conditioning was not an option. The prosecutor believes there is a case and charged them. Yet they cannot make bail as they are basically living paycheck to paycheck. They don’t have the means nor reason as a flight risk. Yes more will be revealed- but what has been presented so far falls outside the scope of bail. Indiana may be lax on animal cruelty laws, but other subjective criteria seems to be a magnet for unjust incarceration and policies.