This afternoon, a judge raised the bonds of 11 suspects arrested in the May 1 vandalism spree in downtown Asheville. The 11 also face felony charges of incitement to riot, felony conspiracy and injury to building, fence or wall.
At the request of Assistant District Attorney Justin Steen, Judge Dennis Redwing raised the bonds for 10 of the 11 suspects from $10,000 to $50,000. Steen said the rise is justified because of “the gravity of the charges” and the fact that all but two of the suspects don’t live in Asheville.
The 11th suspect, Asheville resident Naomi Rachel Ullian had been released on bond earlier, but was arrested and handcuffed in front of the courtroom on the additional felony charges. She’s currently being held on a $42,000 bond. Ullian was the only one of the suspects arraigned in the courtroom. The others made their appearances by video and were polite in their interactions with Redwing.
All the suspects — except UNCA biology major Havely Carolyn Carsky, who said she would hire an attorney — asked for a public defender. Two of those arrested had affiliations with anarchist groups, and the Web site Anarchist news has posted a call for funds to help with their release. It’s still unclear if there was a particular grievance or goal behind the vandalism
The 11 will next be in court Tuesday, may 4, for arraignment on the felony charges.
— David Forbes, senior reporter