Judge: ‘Always risk’ in setting bail for domestic violence

Clark County

A Clark County judge said they see a high volume of domestic violence cases

VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — The Vancouver gunman who shot and killed a mother in a school parking lot was released on bail just days before the incident. On Friday, the judge who set bail spoke about his decision and the challenges that come with domestic violence cases.

Judge John Fairgrieve could not go into specifics about Keland Hill’s case since it is an ongoing investigation, but he said with every decision a judge makes, there is always a risk.

In late November, Hill opened fire in the parking lot of a Vancouver elementary school, which killed his estranged wife Tiffany Hill and injured her mother. He led police on a chase, and when finally confronted, he turned the gun on himself. Investigators released a timeline of events that showed Tiffany had reported Keland to police multiple times for domestic violence and for violating the protection order.

Just days before the fatal shooting, a prosecutor asked for an increase in bail, fearing for the life of her client.

Judge Fairgrieve set bail at a quarter of a million dollars, but soon after, Keland bailed out. Fairgrieve said there are a number of factors and procedures to consider when setting bail, including the defendant’s financial situation.

“The reality is, there is always risk when you set bail on a particular individual,” said Fairgrieve. “You make the best decision you can, but it doesn’t mean the person won’t be able to post bail, and if they post bail, it doesn’t mean that they might commit a violent crime—that’s a judge’s worst case scenario.”

Judge Fairgrieve said there is a high volume of domestic violence cases and it’s one of the biggest issues they see.

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