YOU SAW IT HERE FIRST: The accused ringleader in the murder of a Fairview card game operator had his $2 million bail reduced today — to $1 million cash.
Keyshawn Malone, whom authorities described as the “brains” behind the May 4 murder and robbery of 50-year old Jeronimo Lopez, got the reduction based on his New Jersey ties.
Still, all agreed he likely wasn’t going to raise that amount.
Defense attorney John Weichsel told Presiding Superior Court Judge Liliana DeAvila-Silebi that Malone “was not the shooter.”
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Danielle Grootenboer countered that he was “one of the prime movers.”
” This was a planned, orchestrated armed robbery,” Grootenboer told the judge, “and what is particularly chilling to the state is the fact the victim got shot and this did not deter a single one of these defendants, Mr. Malone included, from carrying out the robbery.
“A man was bleeding to death on the ground, and Mr. Malone and his co-conspirators were picking the pockets of the people.”
Grootenboer also said that investigators were pursuing leads that Malone — who has a criminal record and is under indictment for another offense in Essex County — robbed other social card games with at least one other defendant in the killing.
“By the time the case is indicted, there will be other charges,” she said.
“Even for a non-slayer, the time is the same – 30 years to life, making him a flight risk,” Grootenboer said.
The circumstances warrant a high bail, DeAvila-Silebi said, adding that being a New Jersey resident worked in Malone’s favor. His co-defendants aren’t U.S. citizens.
“But I won’t reduce it further than that,” she said.
Co-defendant Blonson Florestal, 19, earlier had his bail reduced from $4 million to $1 million, but Grootenboer said that was only because he drove the car and didn’t participate in the robbery.
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