Former Jailer Allowed Free On Bond - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Former Jailer Allowed Free On Bond

Ryan Teel will spend the days leading up to his trial at home. The former Harrison County jailer had a $250,000 unsecured bond set on Tuesday. Consequently, he'll be locked up at home, rather than in prison until his May 28th trial.

Teel is accused of using excessive force in the beating death of inmate Jessie Lee Williams.

The Williams family was not happy that Teel got what it considers a get out of jail free card.

The victim's cousin, Keith Williams, said, "There is no justice in this system. There is none whatsoever."

They just heard a federal magistrate say that Ryan Teel, the man accused of beating and killing Williams when he was a Harrison County inmate 13 months ago, was about to go home.

"We knew the judge was going to basically grant him bail, due to the circumstances," Williams said.

The circumstances were laid out by defense attorneys during a 45 minute hearing. They successfully argued that since prosecutors were no longer seeking the death penalty against the former Harrison County jailer, the law says Teel could be released from prison.

"Hopefully, this will be good for him and his family. So we're real satisfied with Judge Roper's ruling," defense attorney Jim Davis said.

Based on that ruling, Teel will now serve what's called home incarceration. He'll wear an electronic monitoring device, and nd he won't be allowed to leave home, unless he's going to court or the hospital.

Judge Roper said, "I'm of the opinion that when a person is no longer facing the death penalty, that this is a significant change in the risk of flight."

"It's just not fair," Williams said.

Friends of the victim gasped when the judge gave Teel a $250,000 unsecured bond, meaning he could go home as soon as his house had the proper surveillance equipment.

"This is justice? Man, I don't agree with that. I really don't," said J.T. Blakeney, a friend of the victim.

Those friends of Jessie Lee Williams will be back at court for Teel's May 28th trial.

by Brad Kessie

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