MANCHESTER — A city man, accused of walking up to a stranger's car on Somerville Street July 15 and firing a shot that wounded a passenger, was taken into custody Thursday afternoon after a Hillsborough County Superior Court North judge reinstated his original $50,000 cash/surety bail.
Thomas Landry, 25, had been free on $15,000 cash/surety bail but confined to his home at 359 Somerville St., except for court appearances and treatment at the Veterans Administration hospital, since his attorney persuaded a 9th Circuit Court, Manchester District Division judge to reduce Landry's bail July 30. The bail conditions also said he had to be escorted whenever he went to court or the VA.
When Landry, his family and defense attorneys returned to the courtroom to receive the judge's order, Landry was beckoned inside the rail by Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputies. As he was handcuffed, he looked toward his family and mouthed what appeared to be: "What happened?" He was then escorted from the courtroom by deputies.
The Hillsborough County Attorney had filed a motion to reinstate the higher bail. Although Circuit Court Judge Gregory Michael's July 30 bail order imposed "house arrest," with no use of alcohol or illegal drugs and no access to firearms, there was no mechanism put in place to ensure compliance.
The shooting victim, who is still on crutches as a result of the leg wound she sustained, attended the hearing. Josephine Otim, who lives near Landry on the same street, was not present when Hillsborough County Superior Court North Judge Gillian Ambramson's ruling was issued. During the hearing, Abramson expressed concern about the proximity of Landry's residence to the shooting scene. Making reference to recent incidents of shootings and stabbings, Abramson said: "My concern is how to protect the community."
Defense attorney William Schultz, who has said Landry is a military veteran who sustained injuries during multiple deployments, said Landry is getting essential medications and outpatient treatment at the VA and could get inpatient treatment starting in October.
At the Valley Street jail, said Schultz, "He gets none of that specialized treatment." Schultz said Landry, who receives VA disability payments, suffers from PTSD and traumatic brain injury.
Assistant Hillsborough County attorney Charlene Dulac, noting the shooting incident occurred late at night after Landry had been out drinking with his girlfriend, expressed concern about how he was being monitored. "He's not on a bracelet," said Dulac.
Schultz had assured Judge Michael that Landry's family would keep tabs on him and repeated those assurances to Abramson.
"There are no firearms in the house," said Schultz. "There's no alcohol in the house." He also said that he has varying schedules of family members effectively providing 24-hour supervision for Landry.
Although Schultz had requested a competency hearing for Landry in Circuit Court, once the felony charges of first-degree assault and reckless conduct were bound over to the Hillsborough County Grand Jury, the case was closed in Circuit Court and a new motion must be filed in Superior Court.