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Local News

Bond Intentionally Changed For Accused Rapist

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Martin Russell align=left

An accused rapist checked himself out of the Mecklenburg County Jail last week after his bond conditions were changed--not by chance, but intentionally. CMPD issued a press release yesterday saying a magistrate mistakenly changed Martin Russell Diamond's bond to an unsecured status. That meant he only had to put up a portion of the $105,000 bond. But Judge Lisa Bell who supervises the criminal court magistrates says it was intentional. She says magistrate Sylvia Cherry changed the bond status after an hour-long interview with Diamond. "I'm relatively confident that there was nothing inappropriate," says Bell. "There was no undue influence, no outside influence, no favorable or preferential treatment given because of who this individual was or who he might have known. That it was simply a matter of discretion that was exercised." Cherry is on leave until Bell reviews the decision further. Police are still searching for Diamond. He's been charged with kidnapping and rape. Detectives found out Diamond had checked himself out of jail this week after they attained a warrant for attempted murder in connection with the same case.