Drunk driver gets $7 million bond for fatal crash that killed 2 Colts

Catherine Cusack, CNN • Updated 9th July 2017

( CNN ) — The man convicted of a drunken driving crash that killed two Indianapolis Colts football players must pay a $7 million bond or face jail time.

Indianapolis Probate Judge Pamela Banks set the $7 million bond for Austin “Bo” Murdaugh on Friday after reading a lengthy motion from a state prosecutor.

“This is an extremely hard thing to do. But the defendant has caused significant harm. He is a danger to our community,” Banks said.

Banks also ordered Murdaugh not to possess alcohol and drugs and to seek outpatient therapy.

Signed by Indiana State Prosecuting Attorney Terry Curry, the motion describes the “death and devastation” Murdaugh’s actions have caused in the court’s 32-page ruling.

When asked if the bond would prevent Murdaugh from getting help, Curry said, “I am absolutely confident that he will be able to obtain the treatment that he needs.”

Murdaugh has admitted to drinking and driving just before his pickup truck slammed into a vehicle carrying Colts football players Ryan Diem and Jake Carpenter in April 2016.

Citing a blood test, the Indiana State Police said Murdaugh tested more than three times the legal limit for drunk driving. He had two drinks earlier in the evening and a third after crashing into the other vehicle, the police report said.

Diem was a tight end who had played five seasons in the NFL, and Carpenter was an offensive tackle who had played in 42 games.

The crash also critically injured defensive end Kendall Langford, who has since returned to the field.

At trial, defense attorney Bill Marheineke argued that Murdaugh couldn’t control his behavior.

“This event happened out of his control,” Marheineke said. “Something that he didn’t do, something that he can’t control. Something that doesn’t matter to him, because it has no effect on him.”

Marheineke said Murdaugh was “extremely remorseful” and would undergo counseling and treatment.

“How many people around here know that a drunk driving accident kills two people? How many people know that in a vehicle crash where someone is injured, one of those people is going to die? It has no bearing on Austin,” he said.

Though the judge agreed with those comments, she acknowledged that some of Murdaugh’s offense has “been beyond his control.”

Marheineke said he will appeal the bond decision.

“Austin Murdaugh’s fate is in the hands of the appellate court,” he said.

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