(Daily Caller News Foundation) — A celebrity-backed bail reform group shut down and is now being sued after the group helped free a criminal in 2021 who allegedly attempted to kill a waiter less than one week after his release, according to 8 News Now.
The group posted a $3,000 bond after Rashawn Gaston-Anderson was arrested for burglary and theft in December 2021, and six days later, Gaston-Anderson allegedly shot waiter Chengyan Wang 11 times in the Las Vegas Chinatown, according to 8 News Now. The nonprofit group, known as The Bail Project, was supported by Danny Glover, John Legend and Richard Branson, and announced that it would close down its Las Vegas operations due to “restructuring” in early December.
Wang is now suing the nonprofit for its role in releasing Gaston-Anderson and is seeking over $15,000 in damages from each defendant, according to 8 News Now.
“He’s got scars all over his body. He can’t move his shoulder over a certain height. I don’t know how [the bullets] missed a vital artery,” Wang’s lawyer, Kory Kaplan, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The lawsuit alleges that The Bail Project failed to account for Gaston-Anderson’s past cases that made him a potential danger to the community, according to 8 News Now. Gaston-Anderson has a long record of crime spanning back to at least 2018.
In 2018, Gaston-Anderson pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny and was sentenced to 18 months of probation, according to the New York Post. In 2019, he was convicted of burglary and in 2021 he was convicted of auto theft, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told the Las Vegas Review Journal
Gaston-Anderson was also charged with pandering and carrying a concealed weapon in 2021, according to 8 News Now.
Following Gaston-Anderson’s 2021 arrest, he was released from jail, but was arrested the following day on burglary and theft charges, according to 8 News Now. Following this arrest, The Bail Project posted a $3,000 bond for his release.
“Normally when bail is posted, a cash bail, it is a family member or friend who is familiar with the accused,” Wolfson told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “One can say, in a sense, they are vouching for the person. They are risking their own money. A family member comes forward, a brother, a friend, and if they put up $3,000 and this person doesn’t show up or re-offends, they lose their own money.”
“In this case, we have an out-of-state national organization with little or no ties to our community who puts up the cash bail,” Wolfson continued.
The Bail Project did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.