LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Bond Lowered For Man Accused Of Shooting Officer

Danta Watts' Bond Now $75,000


A man accused of shooting a police officer in Portland last month had his bond reduced Thursday.

Danta Watts Jr. faces seven charges, including two counts of attempted murder of a police officer.

He was in court for a bond hearing Thursday. His bond had been set at $250,000, but a judge lowered it to $75,000 full cash.

Some police officers are upset with the judge's decision and fear Watts could post bond and end up back on the streets.

"He obviously has an extreme lack of respect for human life," said Sgt. Dave Mutchler, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Louisville.

Watts is behind bars right now, but Mutchler said he fears Watts might not be there for long.

"If somebody like this defendant is willing to intentionally attempt to murder a police officer, or two police officers, how is he willing to treat the larger community?" Mutchler said.

In court on Thursday, Watts' public defender argued that the current $250,000 bond was excessive, and the judge agreed.

"It's an exceedingly high bond that anybody who looks at it on its face, it does sort of make you wonder, 'Wow, what is this case that required this bond?'" said Judge McKay Chauvin.

In court, Chauvin used three criteria to determine Watts' bond. First, he said he considered Watts a possible flight risk. Then, he considered how Watts would conduct himself if released from jail, judging that he might be into trouble again because he was out on bond when arrested for attempted murder. Lastly, he considered the severity of the charges, which he called some of the most serious a defendant can face, other than murder.

After considering those three factors, he set Watts' bond at $75,000 full cash.

"I think that's an attainable goal for him, and if that happens, I think that it's not going to be a good thing, and I think it sends a very, very bad message," Mutchler said.

Mutchler said he understands that bonds are not supposed to serve as punishment. But he said this particular bond is too lenient.

"It sets a precedent that you can shoot at the police or anyone for that matter, and we're going to check off a few boxes. And if you can come up with this much money, it's OK for you to be out on the street," Mutchler said.

Chauvin made sure that, no matter what, Watts would not simply be allowed to walk the streets. Even if he puts down $75,000 in cash, he would then be put on home incarceration -- without the possibility of release from that program.