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Bail set in armed robbery case

Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bail has been set at $50,000 for the man charged with two felony counts of armed robbery of a Soldotna sandwich shop and coffee hut.

David Lawrence, 26, was initially declared "unbailable" when he was arrested on Jan. 14, but a public defender representing Lawrence during his Superior Court arraignment Tuesday afternoon called this decision unconstitutional.

Assistant Public Defender William Taylor cited the Alaska State Constitution, pointing out that everyone is entitled to bail except those facing capital punishment. This law was modified, however, in July of 2010 to include a much wider array of defendants, effectively allowing the courts to hold people they deem a flight risk or a danger to the public with absolutely no bail option.

"To say no bail is unfair," Taylor maintained of Lawrence's case.

Judge Carl Bauman conceded and granted $50,000 cash bail and the acquisistion of a court-approved third-party custodian as the conditions Lawrence must meet to be released from custody.

Taylor opposed such high bail, telling the court it "might as well be one million dollars" when it comes down to Lawrence's ability to procure such a lofty sum.

If he wants to be released from jail, Lawrence will need to come up with the money and find someone willing to supervise his activities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and report him to the police if he violates any of the terms of release.

Lawrence allegedly robbed a Subway store and coffee hut while in possession of a gun on Jan. 12 and Jan. 13, respectively. He is also charged with felony burglary in addition to the two felony counts of armed robbery. His trial is set for the week of April 11.

Karen Garcia can be reached at karen.garcia@peninsulaclarion.com.



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