Former prosecutor weighs in lowered bond in murder case

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COLE COUNTY – In an exclusive interview with KOMU, the mother of Charon Session spoke out against the reduction in bond for the person charged with killing her son.

“25 hundred dollars,” Schfonia Session said. “I feel like Judge Joyce spit on my son’s grave.”

Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce had lowered that bond from $100,000 to $25,000 on Sept. 19, meaning Chism was able to walk out by paying just $2,500, the standard 10 percent.

Former Cole County prosecutor Bill Tackett said Joyce is in a tough spot as a circuit judge because she can only consider two factors: are they a flight risk, or are they a danger to the community?

“It’s completely within a circuit judge's purview to reduce it, regardless of how somebody else feels,” Tackett said. “That’s why being a circuit judge is not an easy job. People really think they put the robe on, but there’s a lot to this.”

Session is frustrated with the system and Judge Joyce.

“I’m angry at Judge Joyce because she’s letting a killer live his life,” she said.  “How do you do that?”

While what happened is uncommon, Tackett said Joyce’s move is completely within her powers.  

“The legal system has to move in a calm, deliberative manner and take into account the victims feelings,” Tackett said. “In the end there are legal parameters that judges have to stay in and that’s what happened in this case.”

KOMU reached out to Judge Joyce, but has not heard back yet. 

Chism’s next court date is set for Oct. 17.

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