Attempted murder suspect released from jail without bail

.The suspect was transferred to a state prison at the sheriff’s request without a judge’s permission.
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:13 PM EST
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ind. (WXIX) - A man accused of attempted murder is out of jail after he was unlawfully moved to a state prison without a bail hearing or an approved custody transfer, according to his defense attorney.

Gregory Guilfoyle, 31, of Brookville, shot his wife, took their 23-month-old daughter out into freezing temperatures and then shot a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy late on Dec. 22 at a residence on Colonial Heights Road, according to Indiana State Police. The deputy returned fire, troopers said in a news release, and hit Guilfoyle at least once.

Dep. Arin Bowers was struck by at least one round, state police said. The round hit his body armor and he was not injured.

Guilfoyle was transported by ambulance to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His gunshot wound rendered him a paraplegic and limited use of one of his arms, according to Franklin County Sheriff Peter Cates. A “lengthy” hospital stay ensued, Cates said.

Court filings over the next 27 days show confusion over the arrest warrant, custody transfers and even Guilfoyle’s exact location. His defense attorney, Judson McMillin, says at one point he didn’t know where his client was.

“The state screwed it all up, royally,” McMillin said.

Court issues no bail order before hearing

Charges were filed against Guilfoyle in Franklin County Circuit Court on Dec. 23: two counts of attempted murder and one count of neglect of a dependent. A warrant was issued for his arrest the same day.

Four days later, the court issued an order setting no bail with “per schedule” written by hand beside the bail notation, according to court documents.

It wasn’t until a week later, on Jan. 4, that Guilfoyle appeared in Franklin County Circuit Court ex parte (with McMillin appearing on his behalf.)

Guilfoyle was in the custody of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio at the time, conceivably at UCMC or the justice center, though which location remains unclear, according to his lawyer.

On Jan. 5, Guilfoyle waived extradition out of Hamilton County, clearing the way for his return to Indiana to face the charges.

Still, on Jan. 6, no bail hearing or arraignment had been held in Franklin County. McMillin filed that day for a prompt initial hearing, as is guaranteed by Indiana law.

Also that day, Sheriff Cates submitted an affidavit to support a transfer motion so that Guilfoyle, upon his return to Indiana, would go to an Indiana Department of Corrections facility.

Cates argued in court records that housing Guilfoyle at the Franklin County Jail would create “a substantial risk to all inmates” because supervising him with his medical needs would “limit the supervision of the total population of the facility.”

Cates also argued since Guilfoyle is charged with the attempted murder of a sheriff’s deputy “could lead to him being seen as a role model or hero for the jail’s population and cause a disruption of the jailer’s authority by the jail’s inmates challenging the staff.”

On Jan. 9, according to a court filing, neither the judge nor the prosecution knew Guilfoyle’s extradition status, nor did the judge have an update on his medical condition.

The judge and the prosecution became aware of Guilfoyle waiving extradition only after a hearing that same day, but on Jan. 13, the arrest warrant had not been served.

The prosecution improperly submitted Cates’ affidavit on Jan. 6, forcing it to resubmit the affidavit in an amended custody transfer motion on Jan. 9, according to Guilfoyle’s lawyer. The judge considered the motion during that hearing but did not rule on it.

Franklin County Prosecutor Chris Huerkamp offered a statement arguing his filing of the amended motion “had no bearing on the proceedings relating to the custody or bond of the defendant.” Huerkamp’s full statement can be found at the end of this story.

Guilfoyle was extradited to Indiana sometime between that day and Tuesday, Jan. 17, when he appeared at Miami Correctional Facility, the state prison Sheriff Cates sought for him.

But as of Wednesday, according to McMillin, the judge had not ruled on that transfer motion, no bail hearing had taken place and the arrest warrant, though “apparently served,” had not been returned to the court.

McMillin says he only became aware Guilfoyle was at the state prison when the prosecution told him on the record. He then tried to look up his client on the jail website, but Guilfoyle was not in the database so he says Guilfoyle’s location was unknown to his own defense attorney.

“They want him in jail, I totally understand that,” McMillin said. “But [the Franklin County Jail] isn’t equipped to be able to allow a lady to give birth, much less a paraplegic who will need continuous health care to be there. So they were trying to find a place to send him to, they just did it the wrong way.”

McMillin on Wednesday filed a habeas corpus motion arguing Guilfoyle was being falsely imprisoned and deprived of his constitutional right to bail and due process and of his constitutional protection against unreasonable seizures.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Steven Cox granted Guilfoyle’s release later Wednesday. McMillin said the judge had no other choice.

“The judge was put in a position, as difficult as it was for him, to say, ‘There’s nothing I can do other than order for this guy to be released,’” McMillin said.

The release conditions include that Guilfoyle wears an ankle monitor, stays at his home and meets weekly with a probation officer. Firearms are prohibited in the home.

McMillin has filed for a psychiatric evaluation.

Guilfoyle’s wife, Hannah, remains at UC Medical Cente in critical condition, according to an online fundraiser set up to help pay for her care.

Hannah’s family offered a statement late Wednesday asking for prayers and positive thoughts from the community.

“We remain focused on Hannah’s healing process, as well as her daughter, who is also a victim of trauma. We are thankful for the police and first responders who saved both of their lives. We would also like to thank the hospital staff who continue to take excellent care of Hannah.”

Franklin County Prosecutor Chris Huerkamp:

“The fact that the Prosecution filed an Amended Motion to Transfer Custody had no bearing on the proceedings relating to the custody or bond of the Defendant. It was filed out of an abundance of caution to ensure a clear record of the proceedings. The Prosecution’s grounds for seeking transfer of custody are contained within the pleading and require no further explanation. Following a hearing on January 9, 2023, the Court took the merits of the Motion under advisement (along with other pending matters) and had not yet issued a ruling on the Motion to Transfer Custody prior to this morning’s hearing, which had been docketed as a hearing on the Defendant’s Motion for a Psychiatric Evaluation. During the course of that hearing, Defense Counsel made an oral Motion to Release the Defendant on his own recognizance, which the Court granted.

“With criminal charges pending, I cannot comment further at this time other than to say that criminal charges are merely an accusation, and the Defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

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