'A danger to the public': Judge upholds $650K bond in Norwalk shooting case

Exterior, Stamford Courthouse, Sept. 20, 2019.

Exterior, Stamford Courthouse, Sept. 20, 2019.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

STAMFORD — A 23-year-old Norwalk man accused of shooting a man in the stomach claims he did so in self-defense, and asked a judge for some leniency and a lower bond.

But Marcus Bonaparte’s plea fell on deaf ears Wednesday.

Bonaparte, who has been held on $650,000 bond since his arrest in June, and his public defender Barry Butler asked Judge Gary White to consider lowering the bond to $100,000 during a remote hearing held at Stamford Superior Court Wednesday.

Butler argued that his client had acted in self-defense when he shot a man in the stomach during a dispute over an unpaid debt at Norwalk’s Roodner Court public housing complex.

But White was unswayed by the argument. Self-defense, he said, is “not a reason” to carry a pistol without a permit.

“It’s just apparent to me that this defendant’s conduct, if what I read is true, represents a danger to the public,” White said before denying the motion to lower Bonaparte’s bond.

Bonaparte was arrested in June after he led police on a high-speed car chase that started in Norwalk and ended at Central High School in Bridgeport.

Portions of that chase exceeded 80 mph, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Maureen Ornousky said, and Bonaparte allegedly tossed a pistol out of his car in the middle of it.

Bonaparte has since pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a firearm.

He is next scheduled to appear in court May 19.