Hate crime? Police say criminal freed from jail, shoots and murders a man walking his dog

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PHILADELPHIA, PA – One of two men allegedly involved in the January 13th murder of a 25-year-old Temple University graduate who was simply walking his dog when he was fatally shot, was said to have bonded out of jail 16 days prior to the murder via dramatically reduced bail amounts granted by two judges

Police officials recently announced the arrest of 20-year-old Davis L. Josephus, who they say was one of two suspects involved in the murder of 25-year-old Milan Loncar on the evening of January 13th. 

The victim was said to have been walking his dog that evening just before 7:00 p.m., roughly about one block away from his home, when two male suspects started to reach for Loncar’s pants pockets while one suspect pointed a gun at him. 

Surveillance video obtained during the investigation reportedly showcased Loncar then being shot in his chest by one of the suspects.

Authorities say that the victim was still clutching onto his dog’s leash by the time first responders arrived at the scene. 

Unfortunately, Loncar succumbed to his wounds. He’d reportedly just graduated from Temple University in 2019 and was planning to move in with his girlfriend the month following his murder. 

In less than two hours after the murder of Loncar, police had arrested Josephus after he was allegedly found to be driving a stolen vehicle.

It was when authorities saw that his clothing matched that of one of the suspect’s from the surveillance video from the murder of Loncar, that he was later charged in connection to the crime. 

But what is causing a stir within the community and with police officials in general is the fact that on December 29th, 2020, Josephus had managed to make bail after his bond was dramatically reduced for numerous alleged offences. 

On February 19th, 2020, Josephus had been charged with 11 offenses, which included kidnapping for ransom, robbery, car theft, and firearms violations from an incident said to have occurred in July of 2019. 

Apparently the July 2019 incident in question involved an Uber driver being allegedly victimized by Josephus. 

When bail was set for Josephus in that case, it was set at $100,000 – which saw Josephus held in custody for a majority of 2020 while his case was working through the courts.

However, Senior Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni decided to lower the bail amount to $20,000 due to there being difficulties in scheduling a preliminary hearing for the case – namely due to the pandemic affecting courthouse operations. 

Thus, Josephus only needed to post 10% on those charges, requiring only $2,000 to be freed from custody. 

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But those weren’t the only charges that Josephus needed to post bond on, and not the only instance where a judge intervened to see his bail amount reduced once again. 

While Josephus was in jail in September of 2020, he’d attained additional charges for allegedly assaulting a corrections officer. In that case, his bail was set at $200,000 – but Municipal Court Judge Charles Hayden later granted a motion to have his bail reduced to $12,000. 

And in that separate case, all Josephus needed to get out of jail was $1,200 to make the 10% needed to meet bond.  

Needless to say, angers have been aroused as a man alleged to have engaged in assaulting corrections staff, kidnapping Uber drivers, carjacking and a host of other offenses was able to walk out of jail for just $3,200 in total. 

Philadelphia Police Department Inspector Derrick Wood shared the following comments on Twitter about the case: 

“This male was on the street with two open felony cases because his bail was reduced from 200K to 12K. This is ridiculous and another example of bail decisions that are being made without considering the safety of the community. Consequences matter.”

PPD Captain Matthew Gillespie also shared his disgust with the matters related to the suspect’s criminal history and bail reduction: 

“This is disgusting and inexcusable! It is nauseating to hear of constant bail reductions on violent individuals! Milan and this city deserves better.”

District Attorney Larry Krasner shared his frustrations in a statement delivered on January 17th, pointing out that despite his office pushing to have Josephus remain in custody due to two ongoing criminal cases, his “bail was lowered by judges over our objections.”

Outside of noting that two judges decided to see Josephus’ bail reduced in two separate cases, DA Krasner also alluded that the presence of illegal firearms inundating the city is another contributing factor to this senseless murder. 

As for the second suspect allegedly involved in the murder of Loncar, police officials have yet to publicly name the suspect that is currently in custody. 

When sharing details on the case, DA Kranser wanted to reiterate that his office is not responsible for what bail is set at or whether it gets reduced, explaining that at the end of the day, his office is at the mercy of a judge’s decision on bail.

He stated that further information on the case and circumstances revolving around Josephus will be shared once they become available:

“We will have more to say on this matter as more information from our partners in the criminal justice system becomes available.”

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