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Jack Sawyer's Bail Reduced To $10,000

Jack Sawyer sits in Rutland criminal court on Wednesday, April 25.
Robert Layman
Rutland Herald / Pool
Jack Sawyer, left, sits in Rutland Criminal Court Wednesday morning. At the hearing, a judge reduced Sawyer's bail to $10,000.

On Wednesday morning, a judge in Rutland Criminal Court reduced Jack Sawyer’s bail from $100,000 to $10,000.

Sawyer is the young man accused of plotting to attack Fair Haven Union High School. He currently faces two misdemeanor charges: criminal threatening and carrying a dangerous weapon.

Those two charges carry a maximum prison sentence of three years.

Last week prosecutors dropped the four most serious charges in the case — which included attempted murder charges — but at the bail hearing on Wednesday, they asked the court keep the bail set at $100,000.

More from VPR — Prosecutors Drop Attempted Murder Charges In Sawyer Case [April 23]

But Judge Thomas Zonay said under Vermont law, bail can only be used to make sure a defendant shows up for trial and not to ensure public safety or to punish the defendant.

“Thus, this court is only able to address public safety concerns through non-monetary conditions,” Zonay said Wednesday. “Here this court has imposed a comprehensive set of non-monetary conditions for that purpose and those conditions have previously been imposed.”

Those conditions include that Sawyer be released into the custody of his father, that he stay away from Fair Haven Union High School and also that he undergo a screening by a mental health professional within 72 hours of release.

After the ruling, Rutland County State's Attorney Rose Kennedy said her office would work with police and the Fair Haven Union High School community “to continue to litigate this issue.”

When asked by reporters if she agreed with the court’s decision to reduce bail, Kennedy said: "I understand why the court ruled the way he did.”

In a separate ruling, the court granted an “extreme risk protection order” that prevents Sawyer from having or purchasing weapons. That law recently went into effect, with Gov. Phil Scott's signing of S.221 earlier this month.

Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
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