An 18-year-old felon (pictured above) out on $200 bail for attacking police officers (allegedly) shot his Michigan State University girlfriend in the face with a handgun, killing her.
Cops say another man also free on $200 bail emptied his illegally possessed revolver into another man, killing him.
Then there’s the 19-year-old out on $500 for having a loaded rifle, drugs and a revoked license. He later reportedly killed a nurse he mistook as a rival gang member.
These are three of seven cases of individuals arrested in Chicago for serious crimes and then released under Illinois’ new “affordable bail” law, who then went on to allegedly commit truly horrific crimes.
The bail reform measure passed a couple of years ago as part of the Land of Lincoln’s criminal justice reform. Defenders of the new law deny the obvious fact that violent criminals arrested and then released after paying a trivial amount or no bail often re-offend before their subsequent court dates.
One of those reality deniers is Cook County’s Chief Judge Tim Evans. He famously claimed that “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur using this new system.”
From CWB Chicago:
It’s been two months since Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans said, “it’s not by magic that we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur using this new [affordable bail] system,” during budget hearings on Nov. 4.
Since then, we’ve told you about seven different people who are currently facing murder charges for crimes that they allegedly committed while free on “affordable bail” awaiting trial for charges such as Class X felony armed violence, unlawful use of a weapon, and repeated use of a weapon by a felon.
It’s hard to fathom how Evans would conclude that those murders and shootings committed by persons on affordable bail weren’t “horrible incidents.”
Since November, our team has come across new cases in which men have been charged with killing or shooting people while on affordable bail awaiting trial for serious crimes. Here’s a look at these new “not horrible” situations…
From there, CWB Chicago details truly horrific cases. One of the most striking is an 18-year-old felon who was wanted on a warrant attacked arresting officers, biting one. A judge cut Lafayette Hodges loose with a $200 bond. Did he fly the straight and narrow?
Hardly. From CWB Chicago:
While awaiting trial in May, he was charged with manufacture delivery of narcotics near a park or school. He was released on his own recognizance and prosecutors dropped the case in June.
Then, still awaiting trial in August, he was charged with manufacture-delivery of heroin. He was again released on his own recognizance and prosecutors dropped that case in October.
Then, after Christmas, he shot his girlfriend in the face.
Two days after Christmas, Hodges’ girlfriend was fatally shot. Hodges told police that he thought the gun was empty when he pointed it at the girl’s head and pulled the trigger. The gun wasn’t empty.
He thought his pistol wasn’t loaded. That makes it all okay, right? And did he stick around, rendering aid and calling for medical assistance for his romantic interest? Not exactly. He took off running, with his GAT.
Police said Hodges ran from the house with the gun before emergency crews even arrived.
Based on his juvenile robbery conviction, Hodges is not allowed to possess any firearm. Prosecutors charged him only with involuntary manslaughter.
Involuntary manslaughter? That’s $50,000 bail – which means it only takes $5000 to walk free. Again.
I recently wrote about bail reform laws spreading across America, citing it as one more reason people should carry a firearm every day. Because under these soft-on-crime reforms, these jurisdictions seem very reluctant to take bad guys out of circulation.
In the meantime, innocent people will suffer a heavy burden.