Baffling probably isn’t a strong enough word when we learned last week that Gerald Wayne Little, arrested earlier this year for allegedly beating his brother to death in what Wyoming County Sheriff C.S. Parker termed as a “brutal” crime, is now accused of committing yet another heinous act in Raleigh County by kidnapping and sexually assaulting a Beckley woman — while he was out on a minuscule $20,000 bond set by Wyoming Circuit Judge John Hrko.

A brutal beating death? A $20,000 bond?

Something is definitely wrong here.

Beckley City Police arrested Little and accused him of sexually assaulting a 48-year-old woman last Tuesday. After the alleged assault, he then strangled the victim to the point of unconsciousness. Police say she luckily regained consciousness, jumped out of a moving vehicle Little was driving, and then, thankfully, three witnesses came to her aid as Little was trying to put her back into the vehicle.

Incredible.

Incredible that a violent individual like this could be roaming the streets after being arrested for a capital offense.

Incredible that he apparently was close to the commission of another murder.

Incredible that bond was only $20,000.

Now, Little is jailed on $200,000 bond with a hearing forthcoming in Raleigh Circuit Court on the kidnapping charge. This time we’re expecting he’ll be staying in the hoosegow until trial.

Incidences such as this one are not just happening in this region. An accused murderer in Monongalia County, free on a $350,000 bond and wearing an ankle bracelet confining him to his residence, cut off the tracking device, drove into nearby Pennsylvania, ditched the vehicle he was driving, and fled.

Individuals charged with murder should be kept in custody; it’s that simple.

Some may say that’s harsh, but in the overwhelming majority of the cases, those arrested are convicted.

People like Gerald Little should not be allowed to post bond, in any amount.

Take the onus off of the judges and make it cut and dried. Remand accused murderers to the custody of the state until they can be brought to the courtroom for disposition.

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