Triple murder suspect's bail reduced by $550K
A man accused of killing three men within five minutes in September of 2017 received a reduction in bail Thursday, after the Alaska Court of Appeals ordered an Anchorage Superior Court judge to reconsider his latest bail order.
Anthony Pisano, 44, faces 10 felony charges -- including three counts of first-degree murder -- in the Sept. 12, 2017 deaths of 31-year-old Bullion Brothers owner Steven Cook, 48-year-old Kenneth Hartman and 31-year-old Daniel McCreadie.
Pisano, formerly an Anchorage-stationed Army soldier, is accused of fatally shooting the three men at Cook’s business and then driving away.
Anchorage police said in a statement that their investigation found Pisano "started a fight with the owner for unknown reasons, pulled out a gun and shot [Cook] multiple times," then shot Hartman and McCreadie, who were residents of the building.
According to charging documents obtained after his arrest, Pisano called Anchorage Police Sgt. Dragano twice, stating he "got involved in something and it got really bad". Pisano also reportedly told the sergeant he worked security at the jewelry store. He continued, documents allege, to say he managed to get out of the business as shots began to ring out.
Charging documents also noted that while the store did have surveillance video, the video for the day of the shooting stopped about 40 minutes before the incident occurred.
After Pisano reportedly called multiple APD officers on their off-duty phone numbers, he was taken into custody near the Dimond Boulevard overpass at Minnesota Drive.
According to court documents, once he arrived at the police station, Pisano claimed Dupree shot Cook, then later approached an officer and said, "It was in self-defense".
Following a series of bail hearings, Superior Court Judge Erin Marston set Pisano's bail at $1.3 million cash: $400,000 to ensure his appearance in court, and $900,000 to ensure the safety of the community.
Pisano appealed Judge Marston's decision, arguing the bail amount was excessive and the court failed to satisfactorily articulate why a lesser amount would not suffice. He also argued Judge Marston was wrong in not applying the state's new bail statute to his case, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2018, as a result of SB91.
According to an order dated May 24, Alaska's Court of Appeals directed Judge Marston to reconsider bail in Pisano's case.
Thursday, a year and one day after the deadly shootings, Pisano appeared in court for another bail hearing.
Michael McCreadie, who said Daniel McCreadie was his nephew, briefly addressed the court, saying, "In my personal opinion, I do not believe a person who commits a heinous crime like this should have any opportunity to be out in the public again, ever."
Judge Marston spoke at length about his previous bail decision and the nature of the case.
"When you really think about it, all we have are days on this Earth. That's all you have. And when that's taken away, it's terrible. It's horrendous to the person who's lost their life and to the family," said Judge Marston.
He said he intentionally set a high bail amount because he believes it's necessary to protect the community.
"What really concerns me is the fact that two other people's lives were ended, and it seems to me -- again, I don't know all the facts, and in bail hearings we don't know all the facts -- but two people's lives were ended because they just happened to be there and they were witnesses, and I have a real hard time understanding the execution of two innocent witnesses," he said.
Judge Marston acknowledged there could be explanations for the crimes that he's not yet aware of, but said right now, it appears to him that Hartman and McCreadie were eliminated without explanation.
"I'm not saying if Mr. Pisano got out he would do anything violent. Hopefully he wouldn't, but if I look at the past, from the facts as I understand them, two people were eliminated just because they were witnesses," said Judge Marston.
To which Pisano responded from his seat next to his defense attorney, "Not true".
The order from the Court of Appeals disagreed with Pisano's argument that Judge Marston must set bail according to the new bail statute, but stated the court can and should consider it:
"We make one additional observation in connection with the court's imposition of monetary bail. Pisano argues that the court erred in failing to apply the new bail statute, which took effect on January 1, 2018. We disagree. As we noted earlier, the Legislature expressly provided that the new bail statute applies only to offenses occurring on or after January 1, 2018. See SLA 2016, ch. 36, §§ 59, 185(0), 192. Pisano is charged with committing offenses in September 2017.
However, we agree generally with Pisano that, in setting bail, the court can take into account any data and research on the efficacy of monetary bail relative to other forms of supervision, as well as the concerns about a money-based bail system that gave rise to the recent legislative repeal and re-enactment of AS 12.30.011.14 Regardless of whether the new bail statute governs Pisano' s case, it is appropriate for a court to consider the latest expression of legislative intent, to the extent that incorporation of that intent is possible."
Judge Marston reduced Pisano's appearance bond to $250,000 cash, and his performance bond to $500,000 cash, noting that the reduction leaves him with concerns.
If Pisano is able to post the $750,000 cash bail in its entirety, he would be released on electronic monitoring, ordered to house arrest and under the supervision of a third party custodian.
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