The man accused of killing then-school Superintendent Jim Burns in 1992 once more will ask a Muscogee Superior Court judge to reduce his $750,000 bond.
Kareem Lane’s defense attorney, Stacey Jackson, said he will present more character witnesses Friday to testify on Lane’s behalf before Judge Frank Jordan Jr., who on Sept. 3 denied Jackson’ motion to decrease the bond to $50,000.
Jackson said he again will ask Jordan to drop the bond to a “reasonable” amount in the range of $50,000 to $100,000.
Lane is charged with murder in Burns’ Oct. 19, 1992, fatal stabbing, which happened about 12:20 a.m. in the superintendent’s Broadway home in downtown Columbus. An intruder stabbed Burns in the back in a second-floor bedroom and then ran downstairs and out the front door with Burns in pursuit. Burns bled to death in his doorway, the knife lying on the floor beside him.
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Though stopped and questioned that night after residents reported seeing his pickup truck in the neighborhood, Lane was released without charge. He went on to graduate from Shaw High School in 1993 and later served in the Marine Corps. When arrested May 3, he was living in Pell City, Ala., and working in an auto parts plant.
Police say a DNA test of cells found on the knife matched Lane, and when combined with the circumstantial evidence they already had made a compelling case against him.
Jackson said authorities have yet to get a final report on that DNA test, and when they do, he will ask for his own independent test. It could be months before prosecutors take the case before a grand jury for indictment, and even longer before it goes to trial, he said.
“That’s why we’re going back again, asking for a bond reduction, so Mr. Lane won’t be sitting there in the county jail for an indeterminate amount of time without indictment,” the attorney said.
Friends and family have said Lane is not likely to flee if released on bond and poses no danger to the community. But prosecutors have pointed out that he twice before did not show up for court on traffic violations, one in Louisiana in 2003 and another in Douglasville, Ga., in 2008.