Change to Wisconsin bail policy demanded

CNN Staff • Updated 25th July 2015

( CNN ) — Nearly 300 people have signed a petition demanding a change to the way bail is handled in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Lauren Zatezalo and her 7-year-old son Landon were marching in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 14 when gunfire erupted. Zatezalo, her son and a 17-year-old man were wounded.

Zatezalo said she was standing at the corner of Brock and Bogart streets watching her son march in the parade when gunshots rang out.

Authorities say that 30-year-old Zane Baumgardt of Racine has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the March 14 shooting. Police arrested Baumgardt after his older brother brought him to a police station earlier this month. He had been on the run for weeks.

The shooting stemmed from a robbery that had reportedly occurred about two weeks earlier, according to the criminal complaint. Baumgardt has a history of violent crimes and “pleaded guilty to the charges in an open court setting.”

Baumgardt has been ordered held on $750,000 cash bond and is due back in court August 21.

Baumgardt wasn’t ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel said that makes no sense.

“It is supposed to be a court of law and not a court of error, error, error,” Schimel said at a news conference after Baumgardt’s arrest.

The petition to change bail rules has been signed by citizens all across the country. It includes an article written by an Australian reporter who covered the events of Australia’s Martin Place mall massacre in 2014.

In the article, journalist Emma Wood goes into detail about being put in handcuffs after being mistaken for the murderer.

“My bruises from endless kicking and punches softened into blisters, and even though I was just a person with a wrong face at the wrong time, I was considered guilty, innocent or part of the problems,” she wrote.

Among the signers are Waukesha native and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Cecily Strong, who has a daughter and posts videos on Twitter under the name CecilyStrong.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he is shocked by Baumgardt’s release on bail and “bewildered” by his lawyer’s suggestions that the shooting wasn’t planned. Walker says that criminals charged with violent crimes should not be given bail. He is calling for a state task force to review the bail system.

Baumgardt’s girlfriend says he’s under psychiatric care and that she hasn’t had any contact with him since his arrest.

Zatezalo says she’s concerned what happened in March may have happened more often in her city if bail policies were different.

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