State v. Biedermann
A court has discretion to deny release on bail as a result of concerns that a defendant convicted of "extremely serious" offenses presents a risk to the community and could flee. Allegedly, the defendant, Ralph Biedermann, attempted to strangle his wife with a power cord from a laptop computer in the presence of their minor child, who screamed. A jury convicted the defendant of attempt to commit first-degree assault, risk of injury to a minor, unlawful restraint and strangulation. The court sentenced the defendant to a total effective sentence of 20 years. The defendant filed an appeal, which remains unresolved, and requested release on bail. The defendant's neighbor, Dawn Pierce, opined that the defendant does not pose a danger. Although 75 individuals signed Pierce's letter, the signatures were not credible, because they were not authenticated. No evidence exists that the individuals who signed were aware of the facts that led to the defendant's conviction. The court expressed concern that the defendant, who committed "extremely serious" offenses and displayed lack of respect for the court, may abscond to Vermont. The state's case was strong. The defendant has a history of violence, particularly toward women, and he has prior convictions for reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. "The offenses and resulting convictions," wrote the court, cause "significant concern for the safety of the victims . . . and community at large." The defendant's continued custody is required to assure his presence in court and to protect the community. The court denied the motion for release on bail.