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Alleged would-be shooter denied bail reduction

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By Zack Peñalva Landmark News Service

 Matthew R. Smith, 37, who allegedly was planning a mass shooting when he was arrested outside of LB Manufacturing on Nov. 19, 2018, was arraigned in court last week.

Smith’s attorney, Jude Hagan, motioned for Judge Allan Bertram to reduce Smith’s bond during the arraignment on Jan. 23.

“I understand this matter has been highly publicized,” he said. “I understand it did raise a lot of emotion. None the less … Mr. Smith is presumed innocent, he has no prior felonies, he has substantial ties - compelling ties - to Marion County … I do not think he would be a flight risk.”

The motion requested that Smith’s bond be reduced to $25,000 in either cash or property. According to his attorney, Smith has no real liquid assets, and the only basis of any bond he might post is a substantial amount of real estate he owns in Washington County. He argued that, ”[Smith] wouldn't have ability to flee, even if he wanted to.”

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Casey Call presented an argument otherwise, pointing out the dangerous nature of Smith’s arrest and the threat he would pose if bond was granted.

“The sheer fact that the defendant allegedly attempted to fire his firearm at law enforcement as they were trying to detain him,” the Call said, “the numerous firearms that were involved. The ammunition that was involved … he was resistant with law enforcement, and most importantly, attempted directly to take aim at law enforcement.”

Call went on to call Smith, “a danger to society and … absolutely is a flight risk.”

Hagan responded by saying there was no gun discharged during Smith’s arrest, even though there was “more than an ample opportunity” to do so if that was truly Smith’s intent. He went on to say that Smith, “simply had weapons he lawfully owned.”

The court denied a bond reduction, instead deciding to leave it at the previously set amount of $750,000 until there is a chance to review additional information.

Smith is scheduled to appear in court again on Feb. 20.