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El Paso County attempted murder suspect released from jail one week before shooting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- 13 Investigates is uncovering new details surrounding the journey through the criminal justice system for a man now accused of attempting to murder his partner. The man now accused of shooting his partner, abusing their children, and barricading himself in their apartment was just released from jail a week before the incident.

Colorado Springs Police say Martet Urquhart, 37, shot a female victim inside an apartment at on the 1600 block of Peregrine Vista Hts in the Briargate area of north Colorado Springs in the late evening hours of Monday, September 11. CSPD says he then barricaded himself in the apartment with the victim and their three children.

37-year-old Martet Urquhart

Urquhart had been arrested twice by Colorado Springs Police since July. On July 17, he was charged with felony extortion and three counts of child abuse. One day later, he bonded out of the El Paso County Jail on a $3,000 surety bond, or bond where a bondsman posts the majority of the monetary amount and Urquhart puts up 10% of the initial amount, or $300 in this case. El Paso County Judge Carissa Cruson set the bond amount and type for Urquhart.

Then, he was arrested again by CSPD on August 31, charged with misdemeanor assault and harassment. This time he was given a $5,000 surety bond by El Paso County Judge Stephan Sletta, which he posted and was released on September 4. Now, after being charged with attempted murder and a slew of additional charges, he has been given a $35,000 cash, surety, or property bond, which court records say he has not posted.

"The amounts aren't necessarily surprising. The $35,000 on an attempted murder seems a little low, but they're not extraordinary amounts," Colorado Springs defense attorney Jeremy Loew explained.

Loew tells 13 Investigates he believes the judges allowing Urquhart to use a bondsman to get out of jail is the best way to go because it typically ensures appearances at future court dates, and binds the bondsman into tracking people down who fail to appear in court.

"If the individual doesn't show up for court, that bondsman is on the hook for that money for the cash bond amount," Loew said. "The other consequence for the bondsman, for one of their defendants not showing up to court, is that they get placed on what's called a board through the state and they're not allowed to write bonds anymore until they find that individual or they pay that money."

13 Investigates asked the seasoned defense attorney if he believes there is a connection between early release on bond and higher crime rates. Loew says there isn't clear data to indicate this is the case.

"A high bond doesn't necessarily keep somebody from drinking alcohol and reacting in a negative way. A higher bond doesn't change mental health that causes people to act in a certain way," Loew said.

Loew explained that the pre-trial services department in each Colorado county typically sets requirements for people out on bond release. These requirements can range from not drinking or doing drugs, to requiring someone to stay away from named victims in prior criminal cases.

However, those pre-trial requirements didn't work in this case. In fact, Urquhart has been charged with violating a protection order for the September 11 incident, meaning he was required by the courts to stay away from the victims in this case.

Nonetheless, he allegedly ignored the court order and is now charged with the domestic violence shooting.

"Protection orders are a piece of paper," Loew explained. "A protection order is not going to stop a bullet. Those violations of protection order cases, they're violated because there's no teeth to the paper. It's only after the fact that someone's violated that there are teeth," Loew said.

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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