(ReliableNews.org) – In August, Philadelphia police pursued Eddie Irizarry in the Kensington neighborhood. The 27-year-old quickly parked and soon after that the police blocked his car in. Seconds later Irizarry was dead. An officer is now charged with murder, and a judge has revoked his bail.
On September 8, authorities charged former Philadelphia Police Officer Mark Dial, 27, with murder. His bond was set at $500,000. The police union quickly gathered the $50,000 (10% of the bond) needed and bailed him out of jail. The bail was unusual because suspects are not generally given a bond for first-degree murder.
Prosecutors filed a motion with the court arguing that the Pennsylvania Constitution generally prohibits bail if someone is a threat to the public or if the charge carries a possible sentence of life in prison. Brian McMonagle, Dial’s defense attorney, argued that the probable cause affidavit for the former officer initially recommended he be charged with voluntary manslaughter. He also cited a Supreme Court ruling that allowed circumstances where some murder defendants could receive bail.
McMonagle said there’s “no way in this world that [it] is a first degree case.” He went on to say it has “never been a first-degree murder case” and he believes the judge will agree when they present their evidence at the preliminary trial.
Prosecutor Lyandra Retacco said the district attorney wants “even-handed justice” in the case.
Dial, a five-year department veteran, was charged after the Philadelphia Police Department changed its story about what happened. They first told the public that Irizarry got out of his vehicle and lunged at the officers with a knife in his hand. After reviewing bodycam footage they changed their story. Dial shot and killed the victim within seconds after exiting his police cruiser. The suspect did have a knife in his hand but the video never shows him lifting it.
Copyright 2023, ReliableNews.org