Family upset after judge releases violent suspect with no bail

Family upset after judge releases violent suspect with no bail

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Memphis family wants to know why a man accused of carjacking their son was let out of jail without having to pay a penny in bond money.

Eighteen-year-old Reginald McGowan is charged in the Jan. 9th carjacking at the Waterview Apartments.

Police say McGowan was planning to sell a gun to a then 17-year-old he casually knew.

The victim said he gave McGowan $250 for the gun, instead McGowan put the gun to the victim's head and then carjacked him.

Court documents show a bond of $65,000 was recommended.

However, Judge Bill Anderson decided to release McGowan without a bond something known as ROR.

"I think Shelby County is going to be thrilled with the states that come out with this new bail initiative."

That was Judge Anderson in September, explaining why he let a trio of purse snatchers, who injured several victims, out on ROR.

He was talking about a new initiative in large cities to alleviate jail crowding and not penalize the poor.

Anderson says a formula is used to determine of the person will show back up in court for hearings.

WMC Action News 5 spoke with the mother of the victim in the carjacking McGowan is accused of.

She and her son did not want to talk on camera because they say they are afraid of retaliation.

She said they testified at the hearing, thinking McGowan would be locked up.

The mother said her son wanted the gun for protection and planned to use it responsibly.

She sent us the following statement:

“When did a criminal's rights become more important than those of the person victimized? My son was robbed at gunpoint and carjacked by an adult who admitted to setting up and being a part of the crime."

We tried to contact Judge Anderson but haven’t heard back. It is possible he could not comment directly about the case because it is ongoing.

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