Monday, January 06, 2014

Rev. Freed’s Slaying and the Deadly Probation Fail

One Small Detail Not Mentioned: Suspect Was on Probation and Shouldn’t Have Been Released From Jail - Skippy Massey/Humboldt Sentinel

...After being brought to the jail on a new offense, Gary Lee Bullock, the alleged suspect in Rev. Freed’s slaying, was released on his OR (own recognizance) only a few hours before Freed’s murder. Unbelievably, EPD was called back and contacted him again a second time due to his erratic behavior. Bullock was merely referred to the Rescue Mission at that time.

One of the rarely mentioned points to consider is this: Mr. Bullock was placed on a three-year probation term
back in April for cocaine possession. Along with that grant of probation came a set of terms which Bullock agreed to for obeying all laws of the community– or he’d be back in jail.

When originally brought to the jail he should have been retained on a ‘Probation Hold’ until the Humboldt County Probation Department or District Attorney’s Office—who had the jurisdiction in the matter– properly assessed his situation. That didn’t occur....

Bullock’s probation status and lack of supervision hasn’t been brought up nor
is it widely known to the public. It warrants investigation because other incidents, similar in nature, have been occurring routinely. In fact, it is quietly happening all too often following our review of several hundred crime reports over the past two years.

Think Jason Warren’s alleged brutal murder of Dorothy Ulrich and the subsequent hit and run of the Bayside joggers. In that instance, Warren, already sentenced to State Prison, never should have been released from the jail to freely engage in his murderous rampage upon others.

We wonder if things would have turned out differently if the ‘probation hold’ process that was in place and should have occurred actually happened, and to what degree it did in both cases....

Discussion on Facebook points out some misconceptions: this... doesn't cover the jail overcrowding due to AB109. The jail can't keep people for disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor.

Which is true - in this whole thing, there's a lot of discussion about letting him go, but in fact, you can't keep holding someone who was only picked up for being 'drunk in public.' There's plenty of questions about letting him out in the middle of the night when nothing is open, and he has no means of transportation back to his own home - and that's certainly a policy that ought to be considered.

But here's the deal - Bullock was charged with cocaine possession, but plead to a Misdemeanor - before this incident. Cocaine is a felony, no? So they chopped it down to some Misdo. Had he been on Felony probation, there would have been a stronger chance that the jail could have and maybe would have kept him in.

It's another plea deal with tragic consequences. Deadly consequences.

1 comment:

  1. Good reporting, but more to the story. Cocaine is only a felony, sometimes called a straight Felony. If he plead to a Misdemeanor, then he had to plead to something else, or perhaps paraphernalia. Now when he was arrested there would have been some evidence that the substance was cocaine. Was it ever confirmed to be cocaine by actual scientific testing, or did a Defense Attorney get the DA to plead it down? Had Bullock been on Felony probation, he would have very likely stayed in. He still could have and should have stayed in being on Misdemeanor probation, so we need to know why there was a reduction, and who of Gallegos' Junior G-Men did that inappropriate plea bargain. Another key point. Had he been convicted of Felony Cocaine possession, there was a greater likelihood they would have had him evaluated to see if he was under the influence of a drug. Just based upon news reporting, bizarre erratic behavior, couldn't be calmed down at the hospital, and attempting to kick the window out of a police vehicle (another Felony they could and should have charged him with) there is credible evidence that he was probably under the influence of Cocaine. Lots of unanswered questions here, but as usual some miscreance lands right at Gallegos' doorstep. Maybe he steps down ASAP so he can be replaced.


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