As the man accused of fatally shooting a woman outside a gay San Francisco club in November 2013 was arraigned this week, a judge let his bail stand at $50 million after a prosecutor called him an “enormous danger to public safety.”
Michael Sione Green, 24, of San Mateo, is charged with murder in the death of Melquiesha “Mel” Warren, 23, in a parking lot near Club OMG, 43 Sixth Street, where Warren and her female partner had gone to celebrate the partner’s birthday.
According to police accounts, Green shot Warren after a minor accident in a parking lot at Sixth and Jessie streets at about 2:10 a.m. November 17. Warren was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 2:40 a.m. A friend of Warren’s was also shot and hospitalized, but she was eventually released.
The San Francisco Police Department quickly announced Green as the suspect, but he evaded arrest until May, when police announced they’d arrested him in Miami. Green fought extradition but was brought back to San Francisco this week.
He made his first appearance in San Francisco Superior Court Tuesday, July 8. Wearing an orange jumpsuit, with his hands cuffed in front of him, Green looked toward the floor as he entered the courtroom.
After Schulman said another judge, who’d dealt with Green’s search warrant, had set bail at $50 million, Kwixuan Maloof, managing attorney for the Public Defender’s Felony Unit, laughed, then apologized.
Maloof said he’d never heard of bail being set so high, and said $1 million to $5 million was customary.
But Assistant District Attorney John Ullom said, “I would dispute what is customary,” and the circumstances of the case “justify the amount” that had been set.
Ullom recounted how Warren had gotten into a dispute with another person after the parking lot collision and Green had intervened, allegedly shooting her in the face. He then “emptied his gun” into the car in which Warren had been riding, said Ullom. He noted that Green had fled and remained a fugitive for months.
Green presents “an enormous danger to public safety” and is “a significant flight risk,” he said.
Maloof said Green couldn’t afford to secure his release even if his bail was set at the comparatively low figure of $1 million, and asked Schulman to be “reasonable.”
During Tuesday’s exchange, Schulman said he didn’t know “whether I have the power to revisit” the other judge’s determination, and he said the search warrant affidavit had been sealed and wasn’t included in Green’s docket, so he couldn’t review it to help him make any decisions on bail.
But Maloof said, “Any time someone is being arraigned,” the judge does “have the authority to adjust bail and set bail.”
Schulman ultimately kept the bail set at $50 million “without prejudice,” leaving it open for further argument.
Green didn’t enter a plea and spoke only briefly to confirm he understood his right to have a preliminary hearing by September 8, at the latest.
Schulman appointed the Public Defender’s office to represent Green, who is expected to enter a plea Thursday, July 10, which is also when authorities plan to identify an attorney for him.
Green faces other charges and allegations related to using a semi-automatic handgun in Warren’s death. Maloof waived the reading of the remaining charges, so Schulman didn’t say what they were.
Schulman said Green is also known as Thomas Bola, but the spelling of that name wasn’t clear and a copy of the complaint against him wasn’t immediately available Tuesday.
Shortly after Warren was killed, police said they were searching for a woman who was over 6 feet tall and described as Pacific Islander who’d allegedly been involved in the parking altercation. Police have declined to say whether they’re still seeking other people in connection with the case.
Green’s criminal history includes assault and domestic violence charges, records show. A call to the San Mateo address listed in court documents for him wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday (July 9).
People who knew Warren have described her as ambitious and kind. She was originally from Oakland and graduated in 2012 from California State University, Sacramento with a criminal justice degree.