A county judge has decided to allow a man accused of shooting two policemen at a protest rally outside police headquarters in Ferguson, Missouri, potentially to post bond even though that man has a history of failing to appear in court.
St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Dueker set the bond for 20-year-old Jeffrey Williams at $300,000 on Monday on charges that he wounded the two policemen last Thursday at an anti-cop demonstration.
There was no immediate indication Monday night that Mr. Williams had posted the bond and been freed before trial.
Mr. Williams is facing charges of first-degree assault after, according to authorities, admitting to shooting bullets at the two officers, which struck one in the shoulder and the other in the face. The officers were released from the hospital less than 24 hours later.
Mr. Williams has a history of failing to appear at court hearings, prompting judges to issue warrants for his arrest, according to court documents.
Missouri court records show that in January 2014, police issued Mr. Williams a ticket for driving on a highway without a driver’s license or insurance, but he refused to show up in court until a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Prior to that, in March 2012, Mr. Williams was accused by officials of violating the rules and regulations of a public transportation vehicle and he ducked that court date as well, prompting a judge to issue an arrest warrant.
When the two-time fugitive appeared in court this time around, it was to inform Judge Dueker that he was going to hire a private defense attorney, Reuters reported.
Mr. Williams has reportedly told authorities he had been aiming his gun from inside a 2003 Pontiac Grand Am at someone else in the crowd of more than 100 protestors in front of police headquarters.
The Thursday shooting was the latest violent outburst to take place in a suburb that has seen a slew of demonstrations ever since Darren Wilson, a white police officer, shot and killed an unarmed black teen, 18-year-old Michael Brown, last August.