We Are on the Wrong Track When Criminals Increase Their Victim Count
In May 2022, a Lake Stevens Police Department (LSPD) reported on their Facebook page that they had made a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle, driven by a convicted felon. An application for a search warrant was written by the officer and granted by the judge. Read their original post >> HERE << and allow me to summarize the additional findings and thoughts from this report:
Kudos, first of all and always, to law enforcement who continue to do the best they can to keep our communities safe, even if they lack the support of too many government institutions and elected officials.
Are you ready to get angry?
In February 2022, the suspect in this post by LSPD was arrested in Monroe for residential burglary and auto theft. From the Affidavit of Probable Cause in that case: “…Defendant went to great lengths to avoid apprehension by law enforcement officers. He fled from two crash sites, stole a vehicle, and entered into another victim’s residence in order to evade law enforcement officers. During his flight, defendant endangered the safety of the motoring public. Defendant has a pending attempted residential burglary charge in King County (19-1-03820-5). Defendant’s criminal behavior occurred while on pretrial release for that charge…”.
Despite of the seriousness of that offense, while on pre-trial release for another alleged crime, your Snohomish County Prosecutor only requested a bail of $10,000. In effect, the defendant would only need to post a $1,000 bond. It is not immediately clear the amount of bail the court ordered, but regardless, the defendant was released from custody.
Ironically, the Snohomish County Prosecutor filed charges against the defendant on May 10th and issued a summons for him to appear in court on May 31st.
On May 14th, Lake Stevens PD arrested the defendant in a stolen vehicle detailed in the above post. Now to be fair, the discovery of the weapon and drugs appear to have occurred after officers were granted a search warrant, so let’s set those facts aside for the moment.
On the stolen vehicle charge, bail was set at $5,000 meaning he only needed to post $500. He did and he was released from custody.
Do you think he will show up to his court appearance on May 31st for the February incident?
So, to recap: Defendant was arrested for attempted burglary in King County and was released pre-trial. Defendant was arrested in February for a burglary and auto theft committed in that same month and was released pre-trial. Defendant was arrested on May 14th in a stolen vehicle (which contained a gun and a significant amount of drugs) and was released pre-trial.
The soft-on-crime approach for this defendant is needlessly creating more victims. If King County would have had the gumption to keep the defendant in custody none of the other offenses would have occurred. If the Snohomish County Prosecutor believed in protecting the community from the criminal element, he would have done everything in his power to keep the defendant in custody after the February incident. Given the facts, requesting $10,000 bail was woefully inadequate.
And finally ... given everything that came before, allowing the defendant to be released on $5,000 bail (half of the bail for the February crimes) while on pre-trial release for two other (known) felony offenses is an outright dereliction of duty. The entire leadership of the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s office own this, and they have to go.
The defendant is currently free and on the street.
This insanity has to end. Does the criminal justice system protect society or criminals? As your next prosecutor I will do everything in my power to keep the defendant in custody after the February crimes, which would have prevented additional victims. Given the above facts, in the event that was not successful I would have argued that the defendant should be held without bail following his May 14th arrest. In the event the judge opted to release the defendant, the public would have the right to know what had transpired: Judges are elected officials, too.
We are on the wrong track. You can feel it in your gut, and you can see it on the streets in our community. You have the opportunity to vote to put victims and the community ahead of repeat offenders.
If you agree and want change, I ask for your vote for Snohomish County Prosecutor. Thank you.
for Snohomish County Prosecutor (R)
Lake Stevens Police Department Facebook Photo