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.
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.
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