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Showing posts from April, 2020

In four U.S. state prisons, nearly 3,300 inmates test positive for coronavirus -- 96% without symptoms

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“We weren’t always able to pinpoint where all the cases were coming from,” said Annette Chambers-Smith, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. As the virus spread, they began mass testing. They started with the Marion Correctional Institution, which houses 2,500 prisoners in north central Ohio, many of them older with pre-existing health conditions. After testing 2,300 inmates for the coronavirus, they were shocked. Of the 2,028 who tested positive, close to 95% had no symptoms. “It was very surprising,” said Chambers-Smith, who oversees the state’s 28 correctional facilities. To see original story CLICK HERE.

Washington State Supreme Court Falls 1 Vote Shy of Ordering Release of Serial Killer Because of COVID-19

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A divided state Supreme Court on Thursday swiftly denied a petition that sought the release of thousands of inmates from state prisons to better protect them from contracting COVID-19. In a 5-4  decision , the court concluded inmates who filed the request failed to show the state was failing to address the COVID-19 risk or that the state’s actions “constitute deliberate indifference.” Justice Debra Stephens signed the two-paragraph order for the majority.  A full opinion is due later. To see the original story  CLICK HERE .

Defendant Released During COVID-19 Re-Arrested for Rape

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A  Brooklyn  man was arrested Saturday for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman just 10 days after he was released from  Rikers Island  over concerns about the spread of the  coronavirus  behind bars, according to a report. Robert Pondexter, 57, was being held at the notorious New York City prison on a separate  rape charge  when he was released. He was charged Saturday with attempted rape and sexual assault among other offenses, the  New York Post  reported, citing anonymous police sources. NYPD responded to a 911 call at about 5:45 a.m. in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood. To see the original story  CLICK HERE .

Criminals Don't Obey Law or Shelter in Place Orders

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There’s dumb, dumber, and dumbest. When I think of the idiots who decided that criminals should be released from jail to protect them from COVID-19, those descriptions apply. When you think that bail reform, meaning letting criminals go back onto the streets, is smart policy, it fits as well. But to believe that criminals are going to “shelter in place” and not do what they do, yeah, that is a special kind of stupid. Thus, in the place where COVID-19 has hit the hardest — New York City — so has the virus of crime . . . To see the original story  CLICK HERE .

Dallas Federal Judge ALSO Denies Release of Inmates

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A federal judge has said no to releasing inmates from the Dallas County Jail amid an outbreak of coronavirus — 153 inmates have tested positive so far. Lawyers for the nine plaintiffs told  The Dallas Morning News  they hope a forthcoming explanation from U.S. District Judge Ada Brown will explain that decision. The lawsuit said Dallas County inmates can't physically distance themselves from others and have little access to soap or face masks. Mostare being held on drug-related charges and have underlying health issues. The sheriff last week in court argued new sanitation and isolation policies in the jail were working, and that granting the inmates’ requests to release inmates would harm public safety. To see the original story  CLICK HERE .

Top ER Doctor on Front Lines of COVID-19 Commits Suicide

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An emergency room doctor who was on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak in New York City died by suicide on Sunday, her father told  The New York Times . Dr. Lorna M. Breen was the medical director of New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital’s emergency department, which was badly hit by the coronavirus. “She tried to do her job, and it killed her,” her father, Dr. Philip C. Breen, told the  Times . According to Breen, she did not have a history of mental illness. Lorna, who contracted the coronavirus but went back to work after she recovered, died in her family’s home in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she was staying, her father said. “She was truly in the trenches of the front line,” he added. “Make sure she’s praised as a hero, because she was. She’s a casualty just as much as anyone else who has died.” Dr. Angela Mills, the head of emergency medical services at several NewYork-Presbyterian hospitals, told the  Times  in an email: “A death presents us with many questions

Gov Abbott: Coronavirus Stay At Home Order Expires April 30; Partially Reopening Texas

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Governor Greg Abbott announced plans Monday afternoon to reopen businesses in Texas since according to Abbott, “[The] executive order has done its job to slow the growth of COVID-19.” Gov. Abbott said the stay at home order set to expire on April 30 will be allowed to expire. He said based on advice from health experts, Texas businesses will be reopened in phases beginning Friday, May 1. With Gov. Abbott’s new executive order  all retail stores, restaurants, malls and theaters can reopen on Friday, but at 25% capacity. To see the original story CLICK HERE .

Fifth Circuit Sides with Texas Governor For Second Time

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A federal appeals court on Monday  approved a ban on most abortions  in Texas during the coronavirus pandemic – including those induced by medication – and continued to flex its muscle in a back-and-forth with an Austin-based district court judge who believes most abortions should be exempt from the state’s ban on non-emergency procedures. To see the original story  CLICK HERE . To read the Court's opinion  CLICK HERE .   The 5th Circuit used unusually strong language that was directed at the U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel. Quotes from opinion- The April 9 TRO violated the “mandate rule,” a particular manifestation of the law-of-the-case doctrine barring reexamination of issues already decided by an appellate court. Our Abbott II opinion plainly expected, as a foundational premise for applying Jacobson, that the district court would allow the parties to adduce additional evidence about the effects of GA-09 in specific circumstances. [O]ur opinion left no doubt that

Defendant Commits New Crime 37 Minutes After COVID-19 Release

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After walking to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, Music carjacked a victim in the parking lot – just 37 minutes after being released from jail, according to the sheriff’s office. He drove to San Ramon and attempted a second carjacking but was unsuccessful, the sheriff’s office said. Music then fled from San Ramon police but was taken into custody after he allegedly kicked a police K-9 that had managed to track him down, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly. Kelly said he is now being held at again at Santa Rita Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail on charges of carjacking, harming a police officer’s dog and a misdemeanor obstructing a police officer. “You could steal a car every day and be released every day,” because car theft isn’t considered a violent felony, said Kelly, who added Music is being kept in custody for now because carjacking is considered to be a serious felony. Kelly said that since the new rules were implemented on April 13, he knows of one Alameda County suspect who

Supreme Court of Texas Sides with Governor Abbott

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Supreme Court Sides with Governor Abbott over GA-13 The Governor is batting 1000 on attacks to his Executive Order GA-13 which set aside certain bail laws during the pandemic.  Various plaintiffs groups have now asked three different court's to set aside the order.  The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas refused to do so.  The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused to do so.  Now the Supreme Court of Texas has refused to do so as well. The case was decided on the issue of Standing.  The Supreme Court of Texas held that the plaintiffs did not have authority to sue over Exeuctive Order GA-13.   Quotes from the opinion- "All of us in the judiciary should do what is in our power to make the court system continue to work as promised for all parties during these difficult times. But a desire for the legal system to operate efficiently does not confer standing to sue to make it so.                        * * * * The trial c

Fifth Circuit Sides With Texas Governor Again!

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Most abortions in Texas blocked during pandemic after latest appeals court ruling A federal appeals court on Monday  approved a ban on most abortions  in Texas during the coronavirus pandemic – including those induced by medication – and continued to flex its muscle in a back-and-forth with an Austin-based district court judge who believes most abortions should be exempt from the state’s ban on non-emergency procedures. To see the original story  CLICK HERE . To read the Court's opinion  CLICK HERE .   The 5th Circuit used unusually strong language that was directed at the U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel. Quotes from opinion- The April 9 TRO violated the “mandate rule,” a particular manifestation of the law-of-the-case doctrine barring reexamination of issues already decided by an appellate court.   Our Abbott II opinion plainly expected, as a foundational premise for applying Jacobson, that the district court would allow the parties to adduce additional evidence ab

Woman Charged in a Brutal Bat Attack Was Released During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Woman charged in a brutal bat attack was released during the COVID-19 pandemic A woman who was let out of the Bexar County Jail during a wave of releases late last month — despite the violent nature of her charge — is once again a wanted fugitive, law enforcement officials confirmed to KSAT this week. Deborah Castoreno, 35, was released from jail March 27 after securing personal recognizance bonds in the October 2019 aggravated assault with a deadly weapon case and in three misdemeanor cases against her. To see the original story  CLICK HERE .

Defendant Commits New Crime 37 Minutes After COVID-19 Release

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Sheriff’s Office: Stolen Car Suspect Carjacks Victim 37 Minutes After Zero Bail Release From Santa Rita Jail The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said a 32-year-old man identified as Rocky Music was arrested in a stolen car by Oakland police on Sunday morning and booked at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. He was released Sunday night at 7:23 p.m. on a zero bail order – which allows setting bail for $0 for non-violent felonies and misdemeanors. After walking to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, Music carjacked a victim in the parking lot – just 37 minutes after being released from jail, according to the sheriff’s office. To see the original story  CLICK HERE . UPDATE- KTLA story- CLICK HERE .

PBT Continuing Education is Back

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PBT Continuing Education Will Start Back May 8th The Professional Bondsmen of Texas will be back teaching our Continuing Education Classes starting on May 8th.  Additionally, we have added a class to allow people additional options for getting their continuing education completed during these uncertain times.  The upcoming classes are as follows: May 8th- Midland Four Points Sherator 5518 Starboard Dr. Midland, Texas 79706 Hotel No. (432) 704-5300 June 19th- Austin/Pfluegerville Courtyard by Marriott 16100 Impact Way Pflugerville, Texas 78660 Hotel No. (512) 220-2525 You can sign up online for these classes by CLICKING HERE .

Lovato on protecting mental health amid pandemic

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Demi Lovato on seeking mental health help amid pandemic: 'Asking for help is not a sign of weakness' Demi Lovato  is encouraging anyone to reach out for help  when they need it  amid the  coronavirus pandemic . The 27-year-old singer recently announced that she's helping to launch The Mental Health Fund, which aims to support four organizations dedicated to crisis counseling via text messaging, according to  People magazine . It has already raised over $2.5 million. In a recent interview with  t he outlet, Lovato discussed why such a resource is important. To see the original story  CLICK HERE .

San Marcos Update

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San Marcos Chamber Opposes City Council   On Cite & Release Ordinance The San Marcos chamber of commerce opposes proposed city ordinance.  The chamber’s formal stance can be read below.  The San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce has reviewed the proposed ordinance and believes it could negatively impact small businesses.    "We believe items six and seven on the list of offenses would be extremely detrimental to local small business and the community in San Marcos,” said San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jason Mock.  Item six and seven states that rather than arrest, in appropriate circumstances, for individuals suspected of committing (6) theft of property or (7) theft of services, both Class B misdemeanors, San Marcos police officers will use the cite and release process.  “The same individual could continue to steal tangible or intangible items of property or services valued under $750 and be cited and released for each repeat offense,”

De Blasio- "I think it is Unconscionable . . ."

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De Blasio- "I think it's unconscionable on just a human level that folks were shown mercy and this is what some them have done." After learning that inmates released from Rikers Island because of the coronavirus were committing new crimes, groundhog murderer Bill de Blasio  lamented dolefully  that the criminals’ actions were “unconscionable.” De Blasio mourned during his morning briefing, “I think it’s unconscionable just on a human level that folks were shown mercy and this is what some of them have done.” To see the original story  CLICK HERE .

Justice Dept. Commission: If you Want to Reduce Crime, You Need to Start by Actually Prosecuting It

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Last week, the Department of Justice hosted a series of three public hearings of The Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) learned that the nation’s top cops are clearly united on what it takes to reduce crime. First, it takes increased, targeted  prosecutions . Second, a proven strategy is establishing partnerships across levels of law enforcement entities, neighborhoods and the private sector. Not a single member of the commission spoke about gun control proposals. To see the original story  CLICK HERE .

Attorney Sends Letter to San Marcos City Council

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Attorney Sends Mayor Letter Questioning The Legality Of Marquez Living Out Of State And Recent Vote On Cite & Release On April 15, the Good Law Firm submitted a letter to the San Marcos City Council expressing legal concerns regarding the proposed Cite and Release Ordinance under consideration and councilmember Marquez’s vote on that ordinance due to her resignation and residing out of state. Corridor News has reached out to Mayor Hughson and the City of San Marcos by email on Monday, April 13, 2020, regarding the legality of Dr. Jocabed Marquez’s position on the council while residing out of state. Despite the council members’ letter of resignation, reports of her having moved out of state to accept a position with NASA and stating on the dais that she would only be able to attend meetings by video conference until the special election to replace her is held in November.  To see the original story  CLICK HERE .

Protests in Five States Against Shut Down Orders

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Residents protest coronavirus stay-at-home orders in 5 states Opposition to  COVID-19  stay-at-home orders has continued to build from coast to coast, with at least five states the site of protests Sunday. Protesters sporting masks and signs took to their state capitols, while others honked their car horns during gridlock demonstrations calling on their governors to open up their states. Last week, other stay-at-home protests took place in California, Michigan, Kentucky, Minnesota, Virginia, Utah, North Carolina and Ohio. To see the original story CLICK HERE . To see article about protest of stay at home order in Texas CLICK HERE . CNN story CLICK HERE .

Responding to Domestic Violence Call, Officer Killed, Two Others Injured

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San Marcos police officer killed, two more injured in shooting ‘ambush’ A police officer is dead and two other officers were injured Saturday during what police described as an “ambush” in San Marcos. The San Marcos Police Department posted on Facebook around 7:15 p.m., urging people in the area to shelter in place as they responded to an “incident” on Hunter Road. That incident was a call about an assault/domestic disturbance at the Twin Lake Villas Apartments. Police said the two other officers were transported to Ascension Seton Hays in Kyle, where they underwent surgery. The alleged shooter died due to a self-inflicted wound, according to police. To see the original story  CLICK HERE.

Michael Cohen Will Be Released From Prison Early

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The federal Bureau of Prisons has notified  Michael Cohen , President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, that he will be released early from prison due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to people familiar with the matter and his lawyer. To see the original story CLICK HERE .

WSAS Stars and Stripes Radio- Guest Ken W. Good

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The Specialist Radio Hour- Guest Ken W. Good Ken W. Good, a member of the board of the Professional Bondsmen of Texas, discusses bail reform and pretrial risk assessments on The Specialist Radio Hour with Chris Kettner. The podcast streams through Stars and Stripes Radio.

ACLU Moves to Dallas to Sue, AG Follows

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Several inmates, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Civil Rights Corps, and Next Generation Action Network (NGAN), are suing Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown for the immediate release of inmates from Dallas County’s Lew Sterrett Justice Center. A hearing is set in  Sanchez et al v. Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown  before United States District Court Judge Ada Brown on April 21.  The plaintiffs petitioned for the release of all medically-vulnerable inmates and other inmates who are not medically-vulnerable in order to reduce the population of the jail so that a six-foot social distance can be maintained. With a jail population of over 5,000, Dallas County Health and Human Services reported 34 confirmed COVID-19 inmate cases this week. No deaths have been reported. The State of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott, and Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a motion to intervene in the case over concerns that this lawsuit could result in the release of rapi

Quarantine Leads to Murder

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Man Tells NYPD He Killed His Dad While Together In Quarantine, Cops Find Mutilated Body Inside Home Officials arrested a man on Wednesday after he approached police who were inside a bagel shop in Brooklyn and told them he had killed his father. Khaled Ahmad, 26, had been staying with his father inside their Dyker Heights home during the coronavirus outbreak. He went to a nearby bagel shop at approximately 4:30 a.m., where he told police he had knifed his father. “I killed my father,” Ahmad, who was drenched in blood told them, according to an NYPD spokesperson. To see original story  CLICK HERE . Father was much loved.  Additional story-  CLICK HERE .

The Great Jail Break of 2020 (PBT Published Article)

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by Ken W. Good At any given time, a county or state jail is taking precautions to defend against a tuberculosis outbreak or the spread of hepatitis B or C.  The fact is, infectious microorganisms are a part of our world — invisible and impossible to avoid.  In 2002, these institutions were forced to address the eruption of SARS, as well as the H1N1 virus seven years later. During these outbreaks, jails went on lockdown not allowing visitors and quarantining inmates and staff infected with the virus. There was no push for the mass release of those who were incarcerated. In the last few months, the world has been forced to face another medical threat — the COVID-19 pandemic . . . To read more CLICK HERE .

Texas Court of Criminal Appeals- Harris County Judge Went Too Far

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Grants State's Motion Holding that Harris County District Judge Set Bond Too Low, Raises Bond to $100,000.00 and Issues Warrant I n a rare move, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has increased a low bond set by Judge Chris Morton for a man who was released from jail, who now stands accused of another violent crime. We have been telling you about Timothy Singleton as we reported about Harris County judges setting low bonds for people charged with violent crimes in an effort to empty the jail amid the pandemic. Singleton, who has prior convictions, was given a $500 bond after being accused of pulling a gun on his aunt's neighbor. To see the original story  CLICK HERE . To see order from Court of Criminal Appeals  CLICK HERE . Court of Criminal Appeals issues warrant for arrest of Defendant and sets new bond at $100,000.00 cash or surety and specifically says no personal bond.

Public Safety For Sale For $50

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Inmates Released Due to COVID-19 Accused of New Crimes ABC13 Report- A man beat his ex-girlfriend and threw her grandmother to the ground two weeks after he was released from jail on a low $50.00 bond after being arrested for a violent crime, according to Harris County records. At his first court appearance at the end of March, Magistrate Jennifer Gaut and prosecutor Karen Barney had a heated exchange about the bond amount. Barney requested a $50,000 bond based on his criminal history. Gaut ultimately explained COVID-19 concerns in the jail were driving her decisions. District Judge Chris Morton upheld the bond. The Harris County District Attorney's Office was in the midst of an appeal when Singleton allegedly committed another violent crime. "This is exactly what we predicted. What we were fearful of," said Andy Kahan, director of victim services at Crime Stoppers. To see original story  CLICK HERE .

The Turnstile Jail

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A man released early from county jail under California's $0 bail order was rearrested Tuesday, officials said. The order took effect Monday.  Gaul was rearrested a sixth time on Tuesday at 7:27 a.m. in the 3900 block of West Lane. Officers tried getting him out of the vehicle when he wouldn't listen to orders. An officer used a stun gun on Gaul before arresting him, the police department said.  Withrow explained that because of the zero bail order, Gaul will be able to walk out the door after he's booked. "This is what we're going to be dealing with," Withrow said."We'll be waiting for him when he goes to steal another vehicle." To see the original story  CLICK HERE .

Houston- Inmate Rearrested After Coronavirus Relief

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An inmate released under a short-lived order by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus in Harris County Jail, was arrested Tuesday and faces new charges. Hidalgo’s  order called for the release of certain non-violent inmates  in an effort to reduce the jail’s population during the COVID-19 crisis. When Hidalgo’s order was  blocked by felony court judge Herb Ritchie , Sheriff Ed Gonzalez turned to a  federal court judge to help settle the matter . Late Tuesday Judge Lee Rosenthal notified all parties she would not intervene in this particular matter. Hidalgo also responded to the re-arrest of Pope. “We don’t make policy according to headlines. You can’t be a hundred percent certain of everything. We’d have to arrest everybody in Harris County to make sure nobody is going to get in any sort of trouble,” said Hidalgo. To see original story  CLICK HERE .

AG Paxton Speaks Out Against Harris County Bail System

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AG Pax­ton Files State­ment Oppos­ing Unjust, Blan­ket Bail Sys­tem in Houston “This consent decree is at odds with Texas law, the proper role of the judiciary, and the obligation to protect the people of Texas from violent criminals.” With no input from the Supreme Court of Texas or the Texas Legislature, the proposed consent decree would eliminate the ability of judges in Harris County to make case-by-case determinations regarding the proper bail for most criminal defendants, raising serious federalism and separation-of-powers concerns.  Not only is releasing criminals without individualized consideration of the circumstances of the offense or their criminal history completely contrary to Texas law, it presents serious dangers to public safety,” Attorney General Paxton said. “This consent decree is at odds with Texas law, the proper role of the judiciary, and the obligation to protect the people of Texas from violent criminals.” To see the original story  CL

Houston PD- Crime Going Up

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HPD Reports Crime, 911 Calls Increase One Month Into Stay-At Home Order "We've had 92 homicides so far this year, which is a very big problem when a lot of these suspects are people who should have been behind bars not out committing murder," Acevedo said. One of the reasons the chief points to for the spike in crime is personal recognizance or PR bonds. "We're going to start letting people know my officers are having criminals on their way to jail laughing and just smacking down on these officers saying 'Hey I'm going to be out on a $10 bond.' we're going to start releasing these videos and the cases so people can see it's turning into a mockery out here our criminal justice system," Acevedo said. To see the original story  CLICK HERE .