Bond drops for murder suspect
By John Stevenson : The Herald-Sun
Jan 19, 2006 : 12:28 am ET
DURHAM -- The bond was lowered from $250,000 to $100,000 Wednesday for murder suspect Jeremy Lamar Meeks, who is charged with gunning down his half-brother in a January 2004 drive-by shooting on Canal Street.
In reducing the bail, Superior Court Judge Ron Stephens said he was concerned that Meeks had remained in jail "a long time" without any apparent action on his case.
"Somewhere along the road, it is put-up-or-shut-up time," said Stephens. "He is presumed innocent. He has no significant criminal record."
If Meeks is able to post the new bond and is freed from jail, he must have no contact with known gang members, Stephens ruled.
Meeks, 20, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Carlos Martez Clayton, his half-brother.
Official reports indicated that Clayton was standing with a group in the 500 block of Canal Street when someone fired several shots at them from a red car. Gunfire struck another person in the arm.
At the time, officers said Meeks and Clayton were in rival gangs that had exchanged bullets earlier.
"There were some shootings that took place weeks prior to this that were going back and forth between some rival gang members," according to Durham police Detective Anthony Smith. "This was a drive-by shooting. It was pretty much a retaliatory shooting."
In arguing for a reduced bond Wednesday, defense lawyer Amos Tyndall said the case against Meeks "certainly is not open and shut."
Some of Meeks' family members claim he was elsewhere at the time, Tyndall added.
But Assistant District Attorney David Saacks said he was worried that Meeks would return to gang activity if set free pending trial.
"He admitted a gang affiliation to an investigator even before he was arrested," Saacks said of the suspect. "We have some evidence that if he gets out [of jail], that's probably where he's going to go back to."
Saacks also said the murder case was not being deliberately stalled.
“Nobody's perfect. We're all just one step up from the beasts and one step down from the angels.”