Bond Revoked for Maryland Murder Suspect Released by Judge Last Week

A judge criticized for releasing a murder suspect last week says he was unaware of the suspect's criminal record and history of jumping bail when he made the decision.

At an emergency hearing Tuesday, prosecutors said Dion Sobotker has a criminal record including a federal weapons charge and has failed to appear in court seven times. Judge Gary Bair revoked bond for Sobotker and sent him back to jail, saying he was unaware of that history last week.

But a source close to the case told News4 the information was available to Bair in the court file.

"He's supposed to do his homework," Patricia Harris, the mother of the victim, said Tuesday.

Sobotker, 32, is one of three suspects charged with first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old kidney transplant survivor Jonathan Harris, who was strangled during a robbery at his Silver Spring home in December.

Sobotker was held in jail without bond until a hearing Wednesday, when Bair releaseed him on a $500,000 unsecured bond, meaning he was not required to put up any money.

“I don’t believe the bail system is fair when you set a bond in an amount that no one can make it,” Bair said then.

“I didn't sleep at all that night, Patricia Harris said. “I tensed up and I cried most of the night."

Sobotker was supposed to be under electronic monitoring, but authorities learned Thursday he didn't report to be fitted for a GPS and had disappeared.

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Judge Bair issued a warrant for Sobotker's arrest Friday, and he was taken into custody after a weekend manhunt.

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