Statement from Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino Regarding the Possible Release of Lee Evans from Jail:
We vigorously oppose the release of Lee Evans from jail. Last month an Essex County Grand Jury returned a 10-count indictment charging Evans with five counts of murder and five counts of felony murder.
Bail was originally set at $5 million, an amount we believed to be reasonable given the serious nature of the charges. Over our objections, on June 2, bail was reduced to $1.25 million.
Unable to make the lower bail Evans returned to court today and argued for an even lower bail. In a ruling that is extremely disappointing, today Evans’ bail was again reduced to $950,000.
This decision is disturbing. We consider the bail insufficient in a case involving a man charged with killing five teenage boys. Our hearts go out to the families of these five young men who have waited for over 30 years to see that justice is done in this matter.
Given the serious nature of the charges and the fact that, if convicted, he could be sentenced to five consecutive life sentences, we believe it is not in the interest of justice to release him. We must once again be concerned for the safety of our own witnesses as we progress to trial.
Furthermore, we believe he is a flight risk. Bail is to ensure that a defendant appears in court. It is clear by virtue of his ability to post nearly $1 million bail that Evans has significant assets to escape justice by fleeing the jurisdiction.