Murder Suspect Released by Judge Fails to Report to Officials

A murder suspect was released last week by a judge who feels the bail system is unfair -- and that suspect then failed to appear to get fitted for a GPS monitor.

Kidney transplant survivor Jonathan Harris, 26, was strangled during a robbery at his Silver Spring home in December. Three suspects were arrested and charged with first-degree murder, including 32-year-old Dion Sobotker.

Sobotker was held in jail without bond until a hearing Wednesday, when Montgomery County Judge Gary Bair decided to release him on a $500,000 unsecured bond, which means 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. “Doesn’t make sense to me.”

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.

"We didn't know where he was," Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin said. "He was considered a safety risk."

Judge Bair issued a warrant on Friday for Sobotker's arrest.

"We thought it was necessary to track him down immediately in order to guarantee the safety of the community," Montgomery County Assistant Police Chief Russ Hamill.

Authorities have since taken Sobotker back into custody.

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