CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A man is out on bail after police say he brutally killed a woman and her unborn child over four decades ago.
Luis Colon spent his morning looking up at the sunrise talking to his sister, Evelyn.
“We miss you so much.”
Luis Sierra, Evelyn’s boyfriend at the time, was charged with killing her in this decades-old cold case.
Just last month he was granted bail for $250,000, something that came as a complete shock to the Colon family.
“$250,000 and he’s out free? Enjoying, celebrating with his family? What about my family? What about Evelyn and the baby?”
He begs the question, what changed since Sierra was denied bail last year?
The judge cites Commonwealth v. Talley which was decided back in December, as lawyer Theron Solomon explains, “What the court has said is that just charging someone with a charge of criminal homicide is not enough. Basically, the way that’s looked at is, really everywhere, is you’re charged with homicide and there’s no bail. Really what the court said is it’s not that simple.”
Solomon says the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision further clarified the Commonwealth’s “burden of proof”.
“What they said in Talley was, there needs to be a test that they need to look and evaluate–it needs to be substantially more likely than not that they can show or establish the charge. So it’s not about ‘Is Mr. Sierra a danger to the community?’, it’s ‘Can the commonwealth demonstrate that it’s substantially more likely than not that Mr. Sierra committed this crime?’. Now, that’s going to be the standard for all cases.”
It’s a game changer for defense attorneys across the commonwealth but a new burden on the hearts of the Colon family.