Juan Ortega Reporter Sun Sentinel
A Marjory Stoneman Douglas student accused of bringing a knife to school was ordered held on $12,500 bond Wednesday after her lawyer called it “out of control” and “ridiculous” that prosecutors sought her jailed on stiffer conditions.
Jordan Salter’s lawyer, Assistant Public Defender Brian Reidy, argued that worries from the school massacre has led prosecutors to seek higher bond amounts for teen defendants.
“I don’t know when we all hit the fear button when everything is such an absolute emergency,” Reidy told Broward County Judge Kim Mollica.
Mollica is the same judge who on Tuesday set the bond at $500,000 for Zachary Cruz, the brother of the school shooter Nikolas Cruz. Zachary Cruz was arrested Monday on the charge he trespassed on the school campus more than a month after the massacre.
Jordan Salter, 18, was one of three Stoneman Douglas teens detained Tuesday in unrelated incidents. Salter’s lawyer said he couldn’t blame her for her actions in an encounter with a boy who confronted her.
“I don’t blame a kid for taking a weapon to school, quite frankly, these days,” Reidy told the judge.
Reidy said the teen’s parents can’t afford a high bond amount, so setting any high bond amount would mean the teen stays longer in jail.
But Mollica declined Reidy’s request. After weighing her decision for several minutes, Mollica set the bond at $12,500. “The court does have a concern that this child brought a knife to school,” she said.She declined to order a psychological evaluation for the teen.
Salter was accused of pulling a 2-inch black knife from her bra, opening it and displaying it, according to a report from the Broward Sheriff’s Office. It happened during a conflict in the cafeteria, when a student asked Salter’s friend a sexually offensive question.
Salter “poured coffee on him,” Reidy said. “And I’m not so sure that I wouldn’t have done the same thing if he had said that to me.”
When the boy leaned in close to Salter’s face, she pulled out the knife, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.
Salter’s parents attended her hearing Wednesday. Her father, Scott, told the judge, “My daughter’s never been in trouble a day in her life.”
Salter’s mom told the judge her daughter has been worried since the Feb. 14 school massacre. “She was terrified. I had to basically shove her in the car to get her to go back to that school.”