Murder Suspect free on bond
By By Dwayne Bremer
Dec 25, 2013, 14:37
Capital murder suspect Oren Lewis was released last week after he posted a $1 million bond.
Hancock County Jail records show that Lewis was released on Dec. 18 after he posted bond through A-No-Limit bonding.
In Mississippi, defendants who use a bonding company are only required to pay a professional bondsman 10 percent of the bond, in this case $100,000.
If Lewis was to skip out on a court date, the bonding company would then be responsible for the entire bond.
Lewis, 31, was arrested in connection with the August death of his 23-month-old daughter Maleah "Gracie" Bush.
Police have said that Lewis was home alone with Maleah on the evening of Aug. 25, 2013 when he called 911 to report that the child had fallen and hit her head.
Bush died two days later.
After several autopsy and forensic reports were completed, Lewis was arrested by the Waveland Police Department on Dec. 9.
Police said the child's death has been ruled a homicide and they believe Lewis was responsible.
Since he was incarcerated, Lewis--a former college football player and local high school coach-- has received a lot of public support in his favor.
Several friends and acquaintances raised money for his bond and defense through raffles and social media.
Since he has posted bond, a scheduled preliminary hearing set for Jan. 16 is now in question.
Legal experts said Monday that when a defendant posts bond, he generally waives the right to have a preliminary hearing.
Prosecutors can still choose to have the hearing or they can move forward with presenting the case to the grand jury.
The grand jury mets in secret throughout the year and it usually takes six to nine months after a defendant is arrested before it hears particular cases.
It is unclear if Lewis has retained an attorney.
Under the terms of his bond agreement, Lewis is required to appear at any and all court hearings and not leave the state without permission.