$10 million bond set

Published 9:07pm Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ronald Fitts, the suspect in a club shooting that wounded four and killed one, is in the Dallas County Jail under a $10 million bond.

On Wednesday, Dallas County District Judge Bob Armstrong levied the bond, which was recommended by the district attorney’s office. Broken down, the bond was $5 million for the murder charge and $1 million for each of the people shot.

Shortly after Armstrong handed down the bond, people from both sides who had packed the courtroom on the second floor filed out. Words were exchanged between two rival factions. Someone pushed someone else. Another person yelled at someone on the other side.

The melee erupted outside the courtroom with deputies flooding in from all over the courthouse. It spread to the first floor of the courthouse near the tax assessor’s office. Deputies cleared the halls. Nobody was injured, although threats of shooting and punching were passed.

This was Fitts’ first full day back in Selma. After the shooting on Saturday, Jan. 15 he reportedly fled to Henrico County, Va., where authorities picked him up after they stopped him for questioning and he ran.

Selma police detective Beauty Benjamin testified she was called to the Vaughan Regional Medical Center emergency room on Jan. 15 after the shooting, where she interviewed four of the five wounded in a shooting outside the 12 Tropicana on Alabama Avenue.

She did not talk to Rodney Martin, who died from his wound shortly after arriving at the emergency room.

Benjamin testified all but one of the four remaining victims identified Fitts as the man firing the gun, which was a.40-caliber handgun.

“They all knew each other,” she told the court. “It was a beef, going way, way back.”

Benjamin also told the court two police officers saw the shooting as it unfolded and returned fire.

Joseph Fitzpatrick, who represents Fitts, complained the bond set by the judge was too high and did not fit to the guidelines established for the court. “That’s tantamount to no bond at all,” he said.

Armstrong dismissed Fitzpatrick’s objection.

Then, Armstrong turned to Fitts, who stood in front of him in the standard black-and-white jail issue jumpsuit.

“This kind of behavior has the potential to absolutely destroy our community,” Armstrong said. “It demoralizes people. It makes people want to move. It makes businesses not to want to come here.”

Armstrong said shootings such as this one causes ripple effects.

“It is the worst kind of behavior in our community,” Armstrong said.

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  • SmokeyCity

    I hope he get LIFE OR THE CHAIR cuz its wrong to take someone life n he didnt do nothing to this Fitts guy. It seem like all them project boys working with the police because how n the word they can do all of this killing n shooting people n go to jail n will be out in no time nw come on yeaaaaa yall working with the SPD……Boy yall better focus on not dropping the soap in JAIL OR PRISON cuz thats where yall heading to nw yall uncles n cousins on the force cant help you get out of this like they do for the other stuff you do……Goodbye enough is said

  • SAINTS_FAN

    WHO CARES ABOUT THAT PUNK MAKING THE NEWS, UPDATEING THE SPORTS PAGE IS MORE INPORTANT THAN THIS CRAP. STEP YOUR GAME UP STJ

  • POPDUKES12

    Comments concerning the loss to the Martin family may have been more appropriate than concerns over the economic impact to the city. Souls fill the homes of this city and that should be more important. popdukes12

  • smithtiffany

    334to904, Get a life,Welcome home Buck Jones!!!!! And Red keep your head up u comming home to… The truth will come out!

    • concernedcitizen

      The article stated that three of the four remaining victims identified him as the shooter. How could you even for a minute think he even deserves to come home?

  • bob

    @334to904
    stop hatin it gets u no where !!!!!!

    SQUAD UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • bossd974

    We lost this City along time ago.

  • ionsparrow

    Man! When Sheriff Baker was in the courthouse, you could hear a pin drop in those halls. Where, oh where, has the RESPECT for society gone? Just plain dignity and respect? It just makes me sad to see what has happened over the years to a once beautiful, peaceful Selma.
    You’re right, Judge Armstrong, “it demoralizes” me.

    • POPDUKES12

      “Cotton” and “Red” would have locked half of them up. pops

  • 334to904

    This means nothing. Fitts is going away for the rest of his life. You have to look at da big picture. A Stallworth mistrial. When his probation is up and he pays that low a** bond, GWC will have their leader back. The killin continues.

    • Auburn_Fan

      Maybe you’ll be next.

  • Iseeall

    now if the DA’s office can only get a conviction! Or will this turn out like the Stallworth trial?? The DA needs to get his stuff together! The cops arrest these thugs and they end up getting off!!

  • pur2760

    Lord this is really sad. Lord Help our community!!!

  • Auburn_Fan

    That’s not his doing. Those are just the idiots trying to stand up for this guy.

    That being said, this guy shouldn’t get a bond in the first place. He killed one guy and shot at several others.

  • Bg

    “It is the worst kind of behavior in our community,” Armstrong said.

    Fighting @ the court house is just as bad…

    • agphsrams

      Amen!

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