Why Pittsburgh Cop Who Killed Antwon Rose Did Not Spend a Single Cent to Bail Out of Jail

Prosecutors in Pittsburgh were left scratching their heads this week after an accused officer in a homicide case was released on an unsecured bond, something even defense attorneys say is completely unheard of.

District Judge Regis Welsh originally set a $250,000 unsecured bond for East Pittsburgh cop Michael Rosfeld, who was arrested on Wednesday and charged in the shooting death of 17- year-old Antwon Rose, Action News 4 reported. Rosfeld shot the teen three times as he ran from a traffic stop earlier this month.

Rose’s killing has sparked intense protests across the city with calls for Rosfeld to be brought to justice. There are reports that he was previously fired from the University of Pittsburgh after assaulting the son of an African-American chancellor. The embattled officer wasn’t required to put up any money for his release after Rose’s murder, however.

Despite outrage over his decision, Welsh said he’s standing by it.

“I make my decision on bond based on circumstances, based on prior record, and based on the possibility or probability that a defendant might flee,” the judge told the news station. “In this case, there was no question in my mind: The defendant was not a flight risk.”

“The guy turned himself in, showed up for court this morning with a lawyer. It’s obvious he’s going to answer these charges,” he added.

When asked if he’d ever issued an unsecured bond in a homicide case, Welsh said it’s the first time in his 43-year career as a judge that he’s made such a decision.

“I’m not going to defend myself to anyone except to God and the president judge,” he said. “I’m very comfortable with what I did. If either side doesn’t like it, they know what to do.”

Aside from the public, the District Attorney’s office is also among the entities who’ve come out in strong opposition to Rosfeld receiving bond, a spokesperson for DA Stephen Zappala told Action News 4. Spokesman Mike Manko called the decision an ” … improper ruling by a magistrate” but said the DA’s office wouldn’t contest it at this time.

The stipulations of Rosfeld’s bond were later modified to include an order for electric home monitoring, thanks to Allegheny County President Judge Jeffrey Manning, who changed the conditions after the DA’s office voiced concerns about “a jurisdictional issue” with how the officer’s bond was set, Manko said.

News of Rosfeld’s release has sparked a variety of reactions from the community.



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