A Buffalo man charged with shooting and killing his former girlfriend has been released on bail.
Shane Casado, 24, was indicted on a charge of second-degree murder in the Nov. 27 slaying of Rachael Wierzbicki outside a home on Edson Street.
Casado was remanded to jail without bail at his arraignment Feb. 1. At a hearing Wednesday, State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski set bail at $175,000 cash or bond, over the objections of prosecutors from the Erie County District Attorney's Office.
Casado posted bail Wednesday afternoon, according to Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, who registered his dissatisfaction over Michalski's decision Thursday without specifically criticizing the judge.
“In my two years and two months (as district attorney), I cannot remember bail being given on a homicide,” Flynn said, following a news conference on another matter Thursday at Erie County Medical Center.
“As you can tell by my tone and my body language, I feel for the victim’s family, because the victim’s family is now calling my office and they’re asking me, Mr. Flynn, what happened? And I’ve now got to tell them what happened,” Flynn said.
The district attorney said the prosecution argued against Casado's release on bail. Flynn said the defense for Casado argued that the young man's employer hired him to return to work and that he has family ties to the area and was not a flight risk.
"We argued that he was a flight risk," said Flynn."We argued that now that he’s been indicted, he is facing 25 years to life in jail. And that, in and of itself, makes him a flight risk. In addition, one of the elements that a judge can look at when setting bail is the accused’s character."
Justin D. Ginter, a lawyer representing Casado, said his client is still under the presumption of innocence before the case has gone to trial.
"The purpose of bail is to make sure that the individual returns to court and is there on each and every court date. Mr. Casado has strong ties to the community, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that he won't be in court," Ginter said late Thursday.
"The judge was made wholly aware of the positions both sides had. Both sides had a chance to argue their position in court and that's what we did, and a very high bail was set," Ginter added.
Wierzbicki, 22, a 2014 graduate of Orchard Park High School, was shot dead less than an hour after she left work at an Orchard Park restaurant.