Crime Watch 8

2nd man accused of murder after leaving jail with Bail Project’s help

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Travis Lang, 23, has been arrested for murder after his release from jail earlier this year on bond in a case where he was facing drug charges.

According to court documents his bond was paid by The Bail Project.

Travis Lang, courtesy IMPD

It’s the second time this year that the organization has covered someone’s bail in Marion County and the suspect has gone on to commit a murder.

Lang is charged with the early October shooting that killed one man and injured a woman.

Lang’s wrap sheet dates back to 2018 and consists of pending charges related to auto theft, burglary, resisting law enforcement, and multiple drug-related charges.

He was arrested in December for possession of cocaine, a Level 6 felony. Court documents show in January his $5,000 cash bond was paid by The Bail Project.

According to investigators, Lang was a known drug dealer in the area. Following his January bond release, police said he would go on to continue to sell drugs leading to the murder of Dylan McGinnis on Oct. 1.

Dylan McGinnis, courtesy McGinnis Family

When asked about Lang’s case The Bail Project sent a statement to News 8:

“The Bail Project – Indianapolis paid a portion of Mr. Lang’s bail nine months ago and his family paid a portion through a bail bonds agent. Mr. Lang has a very supportive family and had no history of violence. The Bail Project – Indianapolis successfully supported him in returning to all of his court dates for his pending cases. It’s important to remember that Mr. Lang is only charged with the current allegations, and it will be up to a judge and jury to determine if those charges have any merit.”

David Gaspar, National Director of Operations at The Bail Project

Police responded to a call just before 11:30 p.m. Oct. 1 of a person shot inside a vehicle on East 11th Street. Investigators later learned McGinnis was in the car with a woman and that they arranged to pick up Lang to purchase Xanax and heroin from him. Xanax, the brand name for alprazolam, is used to treat anxiety and panic disorder.

During the sale, the woman told police she was arguing with Lang about whether she would pay him $60 or $80 for the drugs.

According to investigators, she told Lang to get out of the car and he pulled out a gun demanding money.

The woman punched Lang in the face. He then got out of the car and shot nine bullets into the vehicle; bullets hit both McGinnis and the woman.

The woman was shot in the leg and recovered at the hospital from her injuries. McGinnis died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.

This case isn’t the first in which The Bail Project has paid someone’s bond in Marion County and they were later accused of committing another deadly crime. According to police, Marcus Garvin, 33, was charged in an incident involving a stabbing in December at a Circle K gas station in Indianapolis after he told a man he took too long in the bathroom.

The Bail Project paid Garvin’s bond and he was released on GPS monitoring. In July, Garvin cut off his ankle monitor and brutally murdered his girlfriend, Christie Holt, 30.

News 8 previously asked Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett about Garvin’s case because the Central Indiana Community Foundation has been using taxpayer dollars to fund parts of Indianapolis chapter of The Bail Project since 2013. He said, “Those decisions are made by the CICF, not made by the mayor’s office. And by the way, I am not here to throw CICF under the bus. I mean it is just that they are the ones who make those decisions. We provide the money, and it is just not my opinion that the way to remedy some of these tragic mistakes is to cut and to penalize neighborhood groups that otherwise might be doing a wonderful job of preventing crime in their neighborhood.”

A representative for the Office of Public Health and Safety sent this statement to News 8 on Friday:

“The City has a longstanding partnership with CICF, an independent, nonprofit grant provider. Each grant cycle, they select, monitor, and confirm the distribution of the violent crime prevention grant program in order to ensure full transparency and accountability in the way these dollars are spent. Through a competitive grant process, funding was awarded to the Bail Project exclusively for operations and services such as addressing client needs, navigating the criminal justice system, and connecting individuals with wrap-around services. City dollars have never, and would never, go toward paying direct cash bail for individuals.

The City is committed to identifying and correcting gaps in the criminal justice system that permit cycles of violence to continue. Last month, the City-County Council approved a plan to dedicate more than $150 million in federal funding towards violence reduction programming. As with any loss of life, we are saddened for the family and friends of the victim, as well as the impact such a tragedy causes on the entire community.”

Caroline Ellert, The Office of Public Health and Safety

The McGinnis family tells News 8 they are considering pursuing actions against The Bail Project.

Lang’s jury trial is scheduled for March.

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