Philadelphia Criminal Law News

2nd Brother Caught in SEPTA Shooting

The second suspect in the SEPTA train shooting earlier this month has been caught.

Matthew Early was arrested about 6 p.m. Friday as he was watching TV at a friend's house, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. He was taken into custody without incident.

Matthew, 18, and his brother Eric were both sought in relation to a Dec. 12 shooting that took place on a SEPTA train at the 49th Street El Station. The two brothers allegedly got into a war of words with two Chicago Bulls fans on their way home from a Bulls-Sixers game.

As the brothers got off the train, one of them turned around and allegedly fired shots into the train. The shots hit one Bulls fan in the stomach and another fan in the leg.

Eric Early, the younger brother, was apprehended five days later. Despite the fact that he is a juvenile, the 17-year-old is being charged as an adult, writes The Inquirer.

Eric is being held on $5 million bail, and since he has been unable to post the bail, he's remained behind bars. He faces charges of aggravated assault, attempted murder, and reckless endangerment, among others.

Matthew is believed to the the brother who fired the shots, based on video surveillance footage, NBC10 reports. He has yet to be arraigned. He faces his next court hearing Jan. 17 and he is currently also being held on a $5 million bail.

While bail isn't always set so high for every offender, there are several factors to consider in determining bail. One of these factors is the severity of the crime. Another factor which is highly relevant here is the flight risk of the defendant.

The fact that both brothers allegedly fired shots into a crowded train car and ran is only one indicator of flight risk. While Eric was caught, Matthew remained on the loose for a few weeks after the shooting. Now, with a $5 million bail, police can rest assured that Matthew Early won't be going anywhere before his court hearings.

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