The slaying of James S. "Jay" Bias III outside a Prince George's County shopping mall Dec. 4 produced a wave of public anger over street violence in the Washington area.
Two days later, District Judge Sylvania Woods set bail for the accused gunman, Jerry S. Tyler.
"Oh, thank you, Jesus!" the defendant's mother shrieked, moments after Woods's decision that seemingly cleared the way for her son's release.
That ruling fueled further outrage. It angered Bias's father, prompted complaints to politicians' offices and radio talk shows, and sparked a demonstration by the Guardian Angels, a self-styled crime-fighting group.
But to date, the ruling has had no practical effect. Nearly two months after Bias's death, Tyler, 24, remains jailed in the Prince George's Correctional Center awaiting trial on several charges, including first-degree murder.
Jay Bias, 20, a bank employee, was a younger brother of the late University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias, whose cocaine-induced death in 1986 rocked the world of collegiate athletics.
In agreeing to set bail at $50,000, Judge Woods "did the courageous and right thing," Tyler's attorney, Victor Houlon, said at the time.
Tyler's bail could be posted with cash or $50,000 worth of real estate. Houlon told Woods that Tyler's parents, who live in Temple Hills, intended to post the title to their house. But to date, they have not done so.
Houlon was unavailable last week to discuss Tyler's case, and Tyler's family has declined to comment.
Tyler cannot turn to a professional bail provider for help. Woods ordered him to remain in his parents' house under electronic monitoring if he is released, and the county's monitoring program will not accept a defendant whose bail was posted by a professional.
Tyler's trial is set for April 9. A second defendant, Gerald W. Eiland, accused of driving the Mercedes-Benz from which the shots were fired, is being held in the county Correctional Center for lack of $350,000 bond.