Millionaire Bob Ward out on $1 Million Bond
Millionaire Bob Ward, of Orlando, has been in prison for six years after being convicted of second-degree murder. Ward told 911 dispatchers “She’s dead. She’s done. I’m sorry,” and repeatedly said he shot her. Diane Ward died of a gunshot wound to the head. The conviction was thrown out recently after a judge agreed that trial counsel did not properly object to evidence. Ward posted the $1 million bond required for his release as he awaits his second trial regarding the homicide. Conditions of his release include that he must check in weekly with a bondsman, is unable to leave Orange County, Florida without permission from a judge. He must not possess a firearm and was required to surrender his passport. Ward, through his attorney, is arguing that the gun went off accidentally while he struggled to get it away from his wife.
Cases like this illustrate the importance of bondsmen in criminal cases. As a condition of Ward’s release he must check in weekly with a bondsman. This relieves the normal burden on the court to monitor defendants that are released awaiting trial. Monitoring through a bail bond agency is done at no cost to taxpayers and alleviates the already overburdened court system in Florida and across the country. Collaboration and cooperation among many different parties helps to achieve ultimate goals of protecting victim’s rights and the rights of defendants without costing taxpayers any money. Undoubtedly, reform is needed in the criminal justice system, but perhaps a real discussion about the problems is needed first.