BUFFALO, N.Y. — 24-year-old Shane Casado is now free on bail. However, that could soon change, depending on the outcome of a bail revocation hearing on Friday.
"We already have filed a motion basically to have the judge reconsider," Erie County District Attorney, John Flynn told reporters Thursday morning.
It was just about three and a half months ago, at 10:30 p.m. on November 27, 2018, that 22-year-old Rachael Wierzbicki was shot and killed outside Casado's grandmother's home on Edson Street in Buffalo.
Judge John Michalski granted Casado's bail last week. Bail was set at $175,000 cash or bond.
Since what was said at the bail hearing is now being called into question, 2 On Your Side requested a transcript of what was said in court.
The 13-page document shows the attorneys going back and forth over whether or not Casado is a flight risk or a risk to the community. It also gives more insight into what happened that night of the murder.
Erie Co. Assistant District Attorney, Ashley Morgan told the court:
- "He met Rachael in the driveway with a loaded rifle. The two had a verbal argument. He raised the rifle, and from less than ten feet away, aimed it at her, and shot her directly in the middle of her abdomen."
Defense Attorney, Herb Greenman countered saying:
- "...there were threats that were made to him by this young woman, physical threats which she was going to do..."
- "...there's no doubt that he was threatened with physical violence. She came to his home. She was very serious about how she was acting with him. She tries to cause some damage to his vehicle, came around, and he came back to her, and then this incident took place."
Greenman told Judge Michalski, Casado "...has never been violent in the past..." and "...given the aberrant nature of this act, I seriously do not believe that he is a risk of any danger to the community."
Morgan responded with more details from the scene, describing the victim as "unarmed":
- "The defendant called 911 and admitted to shooting her..."
- "The defendant then gave a full statement to homicide detectives admitting that he pointed the rifle at her and shot her. There were also two eyewitnesses which confirmed that the defendant shot the unarmed victim."
As to Casado being a flight risk, the defense said he had family in the area and pointed specifically to the fact that the suspect's sister is married to a Buffalo City Police Officer:
- "...We have talked with him about this, and he's aware of the whole situation, and he believes in his brother-in-law, in Mr. Casado, and he believes that Mr. Casado would be appropriate to be living in their home on a full-time basis."
Casado's attorney mentioned this police officer twice during the bail hearing.
We reached out to BPD to find out if they were aware of this arrangement. They were not.
Because of 2 On Your Side's inquiry, the department is now conducting an internal investigation of the matter.
In terms of Casado's employment, a major point of contention and perhaps the focus of this bail revocation hearing, the transcript shows defense attorneys explaining that Casado had worked with Community Services for Every1 up until his arrest. He was a manager of a group home, and Greenman said the agency contacted his law firm to say Casado's "job is still available."
The state raised concerns about this during the hearing:
- "...while (Ashley Morgan) read the submission by defense counsel, they mention a company named Community Services for Every1 is willing to continue to employ the defendant. There is no affidavit from them."
The transcript shows the defense never outwardly told the judge that Casado would be working when he is released on bail, but DA Flynn said Thursday that the bail application does indicate that.
"We'll present that evidence that I have to the court tomorrow," added Flynn, "and ask the judge to reconsider and basically put him back in jail."
2 On Your Side confirmed with Community Services for Every1 that Casado is not working there now, nor do they have intentions of rehiring him.
We have heard from Casado lawyers who stand by what was presented in the bail hearing last week. They say they'll be able to prove that no false statements were made.
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