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Fair Amusement Ride Operator Denied Bail Reduction

On October 27, 2013, a Wake County judge refused to reduce the bail of a man charged with injuring five people and tampering with an amusement park ride. 

Prosecutors allege that Timothy Tutterrow, 46, of Quitman, Georgia altered the safety systems on The Vortex, a popular ride at the recently closed North Carolina State Fair. Witnesses state that the riders fell some 20 – 30 feet as a result of the mishap. Three of the alleged victims remain in area hospitals. 

Mr. Tutterrow is charged with three counts of assault with a deadly weapon. When asked about a possible motive, prosecutors refused to comment, citing the ongoing investigation. For now, Mr. Tutterrow remains jailed in lieu of $225,000 bail. 

Pretrial release

Greensboro criminal defense attorneys try to get their clients released pending trial, because defendants who are out on bail are better able to assist their attorneys in preparing a defense. Moreover, there is a stigma attached to defendants who are in jail: many people are more prone to believe that these defendants are guilty as charged. 

The Ninth Amendment provides that reasonable bail shall be granted in criminal cases. A judge usually sets the amount of bail based on: 

  • The defendant’s flight risk: Because Mr. Tutterrow is from out-of-state and was only in town for the fair, Judge Keith Gregory apparently deemed the defendant’s flight risk to be substantial.
  • The seriousness of the charge: The law presumes that a defendant is more likely to flee if facing serious charges, and Mr. Tutterrow is facing three felony counts. 

For a free consultation with attorneys who are committed to a better Greensboro, contact our office.

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