Monday, April 25, 2005

Federal authorities are asking that Webb City businessman Keith McBride be held without bond while awaiting his trial on arson charges.
In a motion filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Deputy U. S. Attorney Michael A. Jones pointed out the violent nature of the crime, what happened as a result of the crime which injured three firemen, and McBride's alleged threats.
These, Jones said, show McBride "to be a danger to community and others, as well as himself."
McBride has been charged with felony arson in connection with the April 15 burning of his business, Coin-Op, a charge that could land him in prison for a much as 40 years if he is convicted. "Defendant has admitted to this offense," Jones said in his motion. "Moreover, defendant has admitted also to intentionally setting fire to his residence on the same day. And (he) has admitted to contemplating suicide and to being armed with a loaded handgun."
The only reason McBride did not use the gun, according to documents filed in U. S. District Court last week, was that it jammed. Jones also noted that McBride said, and McBride's mother confirmed, that he has other weapons, even though at this point the authorities have not found the weapons.
Concluding his case for locking up McBride without bail, Jones said, "Finally, when arrested, defendant was in the mental health unit of the St. John's Hospital in Joplin, by virtue of a 96-hour commitment."
Jones said that in United States v. Salermo, the Supreme Court held that pretrial detention of a defendant "based solely on risk of danger to the community does not violate due process or the Eighth Amendment."
This, he said, is because the goal of "protecting the community may outweigh individual liberty interests."
McBride's lawyers have until May 10 to respond to the motion. McBride's arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday, April 27, in Springfield.

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