An 18-year-old Indiana boy who was brutally beaten by a mob at an apartment complex last month is still in jail, unable to afford his cash bail.
Marrell B. Tyler was beaten to a bloody pulp by a mob who claimed he broke into an apartment at the Annex of Kokomo student housing complex on Oct. 27 around 3:25 a.m.
After punching and pistol whipping Tyler into submission, the residents held him at gunpoint until the Kokomo police arrived.
Tyler, of Merrillville, suffered a black eye and multiple facial lacerations and contusions. Police transported him to a hospital for treatment before he was booked into jail.
The young man told investigators he was visiting a girlfriend when he left her apartment to get gas at a gas station.
He said when he returned to the student housing complex near Indiana University, he entered an unlocked apartment thinking it was his girlfriend’s residence. He encountered three men inside the apartment who said they didn’t know him. He was set upon by the men and beaten unmercifully.
The men told police they beat Tyler because he wouldn’t let go of his weapons. During the beating, one of his guns discharged, but no one was shot.
Kokomo police charged Tyler with burglary with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, and pointing a firearm at another. Police say Tyler was armed with two guns when he entered the apartment.
Tyler pleaded not guilty, according to the Kokomo Tribune.
He is being held on a cash-only bond of $25,000. Activists argue that Tyler would be free while awaiting trial if Indiana had a bail reform law on the books.
Cash-only bonds are typically imposed on offenders who are a public safety risk or unlikely to appear in court.
In May, the ACLU and Bail Project sued over a new Indiana state law that took effect on July 1, 2022. The new law further reduces options for indigent defendants who can’t afford cash bonds.
According to Fox 59 News, an investigation showed at least three people who were bailed out, in part, by the Bail Project were then charged with violent crimes – including murder and the stabbing of two police officers.
Tyler’s public defender filed a motion to have his bond reduced.