A Cook County judge ruled Monday that the suspect in the Richard’s Bar stabbing could be released if he posts a $250,000 bail, according to the Tribune. Thomas Tansey has remained in custody since prosecutors charged him with first-degree murder, alleging he fatally stabbed Kenneth Paterimos on February 21 outside the River West bar. Three weeks ago, a judge denied Tansey’s request for bail.
Tansey remains in jail Tuesday morning, according to county officials. This comes after police brought Tansey in for questioning three days after the slaying and then released him without charges. The release angered Paterimos’s friends and family who protested on March 3 outside the bar, claiming that Richard’s Bar’s owners and customers weren’t cooperating with police, and that police weren’t doing enough to bring Paterimos’s killer to justice. Tansey returned to police custody on March 4 when prosecutors then charged him.
Richard’s Bar is a favorite late-night tavern destination that’s open after the West Loop bars close. The dive carries a storied past, and has regularly ignored the indoor smoking ban, allowing customers to light up inside. Owners have cracked down on that policy since the stabbing. Last week, a neighbor called police claiming the bar was ignoring the state order that closed bars for two weeks to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
If Tansey pays 10 percent of the bail amount, or $25,000, he’ll be conditionally released and required to wear an ankle monitor, according to the Tribune. Prosecutors allege Tansey stabbed Paterimos with a box cutter outside the bar. The victim’s family claims Tansey used homophobic language that incited the confrontation. Tansey’s next court date is April 2.