Garrett Rolfe is legally entitled to bond following his arrest for murder following the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks.
Shortly after he surrendered to authorities, Attorneys for Rolfe filed an “Emergency Motion for Bond.” Under Georgia law, bond in a murder case can only be set by a Superior Court judge. The Superior Courts are the highest-level trial court that exists in the state. According to the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A. 17-6-1), the defendant bears the burden of proof to establish that he or she is entitled to bail according to the following criteria:
(e) A court shall be authorized to release a person on bail if the court finds that the person:
(1) Poses no significant risk of fleeing from the jurisdiction of the court or failing to appear in court when required;
(2) Poses no significant threat or danger to any person, to the community, or to any property in the community;
(3) Poses no significant risk of committing any felony pending trial; and
(4) Poses no significant risk of intimidating witnesses or otherwise obstructing the administration of justice.
Using these factors, and applying what we know about Garrett Rolfe, it appears he is entitled to bond.
First, Rolfe is not a flight risk. He has substantial ties to the community. He is a resident of the metro-Atlanta area, he has many local family members, he voluntarily surrendered himself to custody, and he has retained counsel. All of this suggests Rolfe is not a flight risk and will appear in court when required.
Secondly, there is no reason to believe Rolfe is a threat to any person, to the community, or to any property in the community. Rolfe has no known criminal history and considering Rolfe was a police officer who passed a background check, it is unlikely there is any criminal history.
>>Below are images of Rolfe’s official emergency motion for bond.
The same analysis suggests Rolfe poses no risk of committing any felonies while awaiting trial and that he is not a risk to intimidate any witnesses or to obstruct the administration of justice.
The real question is what would a bond for Rolfe look like? What amount is appropriate? Would any conditions – such as a curfew or ankle monitor - be attached? Judges have wide discretion on these points. Considering that Rolfe is presumed to be innocent and that bail is not supposed to be punitive in nature, the defense may argue for a signature bond (meaning no actual money posted) with few, if any conditions. The District Attorney has publicly stated he is opposed to any bond. So even though there is a strong case in favor of the granting of a bond, this is a question left to the discretion of one Superior Court Judge.