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Court Upholds Denial of Bail and Home Detention

In State v. Blow, 2015 VT 143 (December 21, 2015), the Vermont Supreme Court upheld the denial of bail and an application for home detention.

Issue: Defendant appealed a denial of bail and home detention application.

Background: Defendant was initially held without bail for a charge of second degree murder of a minor in his case. Due to changing medical evidence, the trial court set bail at $25,000. After acquiring new evidence, the State filed a motion to hold without bail, and after three hearings, the trial court denied bail. Defendant later requested home detention, which the trial court denied. Defendant appealed the second denial of bail on procedural grounds, arguing that the trial court could only reverse its grant of bail via two procedural devices, which were not used: revoking bail pursuant to 13 V.S.A. 7575 or appeal of the bail decision under 13 V.S.A. 7556(c). He also appealed the denial of his home detention application, arguing that it was an abuse of the trial court’s discretion.

Holding: The Court denied Defendant’s appeal regarding bail, holding that the trial court properly considered the changing evidence. It held that nothing in 13 V.S.A. 7553 prohibited the trial court from considering changing evidence. It also held that the trial court’s decision to deny the home detention application was not an abuse of discretion, as it properly considered all of the factors in 13 V.S.A. 7554b(b), including Defendant’s risk of flight, history of supervision, and prior convictions, and did not consider the effectiveness of the home detention program.

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