Razo, Jailed Last Year, May Get Out on Bail

Jose L. Razo '89, the former Kirkland House resident arrested last summer for a series of late-night armed robberies, may be released on bail after spending more than a year in an Orange County jail, his attorney said yesterday.

Razo's defender, John Barnett, of the Santa Anna-based law firm of Stewart and Barnett said that he "has reason to believe that [Razo] might make bond," which was set last spring at $100,000.

Orange County public defender James Egar said last spring that the six-figure bail was beyond the means of Razo's family and that as far as they were concerned, the bail "might as well have been a million." Egar severed his involvement with the case this summer because of a conflict of interest, transferring Razo's defense to Barnett's firm.

Barnett declined to say where the bail money might come from but did say, "We're making progress." Razo has remained in jail while his trial has been delayed "four or five times," said Barnett.

The trial date is set for November 29, but the attorney said that it could be delayed past the new year.


Razo's arrest last July on suspicison of 13 armed robberies in the Los Angeles area drew national media attention and renewed concern about the experience of minority students at elite East Coast universities. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Barnett has said that Razo's experience at Harvard, a radically different environment than his California barrio home,might figure in the lawyer's defense. Yesterday,however, Barnett declined to discuss his strategyfor the case.

As an undergraduate, Razo concentrated insociology and played varsity football. He askedand was allowed to withdraw from the College, saidthe Registrar's Office.

Barnett, who is handling the case for thecounty, said that the defense has already been"expensive," but did not give exact figures.

Orange County Deputy District Attorney RaviMehta could not be reached for comment.

If convicted on all counts of robbery and onecount of escape, Razo could face up to 20 years inprison, Barnett said, but he added that"sentencing in this type of case varies verywidely.