A Murray chef wanted for murdering a Baltimore bar owner 13 years ago might be able to attend his wife's graduation from college this month after all.
Third Circuit Judge Eleanor Van Sciver set bail Monday at $10,000.Binick, whose wife graduates in nursing this month from Westminster College, has been in the Salt Lake County Jail since March 14, when he turned himself in to the FBI.
Friends of Binick said they will post the bail to secure his temporary freedom.
"We're going to run to the bank and get some money and get him out," said Jim Lombard, a close friend of Binick's and president of the Alano Club, a social gathering place for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. For the past several months, Binick has worked at the club as chef.
Van Sciver set the bail, considered extremely low for a murder suspect, after hearing testimony from Pretrial Services worker Margaret McGirt, who said she has interviewed Binick and doesn't believe he will flee.
"We have no reason to believe that he would flee, although we cannot guarantee that today," said McGirt, whose office supervises suspects released from jail prior to trial.
Bud Ellett, Salt Lake County attorney's office justice division chief, vigorously opposed the bail, arguing that Binick only turned himself in after learning the police were on his trail.
"(Binick's) having fled once, having changed his name and Social Security number give me great concern it could happen again," said Ellett. The state of Utah, he said, has the responsibility to hand Binick over to Maryland authorities, who are seeking a governor's warrant for Binick's extradition.
Meanwhile, about 200 friends and associates of Binick have petitioned Utah Gov. Norm Bangerter, asking him to intervene and not allow Binick's extradition.
"(Binick) is a beautiful man," said Nancy Lombard, one of about a half-dozen friends in the courtroom Monday to hear the judge's decision.
Binick, who grew up in Baltimore, came to Utah 13 years ago, changed his name and married a Utah woman who had two children from a previous marriage. Since then, Binick has worked full time and has led a clean life, friends say, having never been arrested for as much as a traffic ticket.
For the past several years, Binick has been working as a chef, helping to put his wife, Samantha LaBeau, through nursing school. Binick is looking forward to seeing his wife graduate, said his attorney, Kendall Hatch.
A Baltimore grand jury has indicted Binick on charges he killed Baltimore bar owner Walter Seborowski, 52, who was shot in the back during a robbery in March 1975.