BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - When bail was set in the crash that killed 7-month-old baby Baylee Dion, it set off a firestorm of comment on social media sites.
Danielle Kellogg, 24, was behind bars at the Erie County Holding Center on DWI and vehicular manslaughter charges until she was released late Thursday night. The impact of the crash tore Denise Hine's car in half, killing Hine's baby and seriously injuring the mom.
RELATED | News 4 spoke to the baby's father about the loss of his child. He was heartbroken, and wants this to be a lesson to others who may think about getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol
Viewers on News 4's Facebook page are saddened and angered that Brant Town Justice Peter Gugino set bail for Kellogg at $20,000 cash or $200,000 bond.
Nicole writes: "I can't believe someone would even give her a chance to be bailed out! She needs be stay in there!"
And Mary added: "Should be no bail. She killed an innocent baby."
Former Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark says what many people don't understand, is bail is not a reward or punishment.
"People get mad at that, thinking it should be higher. But you have to understand, it's only to ensure her appearance," Clark explained.
Bail ensures her appearance in court. A punishment only comes after a defendant has been convicted. Stephen Boyd is the attorney representing Denise Hine and Scott Dion, the baby's parents.
He said, "They want to do whatever they can to support the district attorney and the Erie County Sheriff's deputies in their investigation. And they're less concerned with where Danielle Kellogg sleeps tonight and more concerned with where she'll be sleeping for the next several years if the criminal case is successful."
Many people are also talking about Kellogg's previous DWI conviction.
Liz writes: "It angers me when there are many many repeat offenders who get a slap on the wrist! Our judicial system has to be changed."
But Clark says that previous conviction could lead to a higher bail. The prosecutor can argue for that, if an indictment is returned with a more serious charge.
"Once an indictment is returned, the prosecutor can say, 'We have an indictment here for a Class C felony, the person could go to jail for up to 15 years, I don't think $20,000 is enough to keep her amenable to all criminal proceedings.' And argue it should be $50,000," Clark said.
Kellogg has a lawyer, Thomas Casey, who had his law license re-instated in 2005 after being disbarred in 1997. He did not return calls asking for comment.
Kellogg is due back in Brant Town Court Friday at 4 p.m. News 4 will be there and let you know what happens. Kellogg posted the $20,000 cash bail late Thursday night and was released from the Holding Center.
Those interested in making donations to Baylee's family can do so at any Citizens Bank through a memorial account.
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