Murder suspects among those released with electronic monitoring in Mecklenburg County
Updated: Updated 06/01/2012 06:24 PM
By: McKinsey Harris
CHARLOTTE -- There are 268 people wearing electronic monitoring bracelets in Mecklenburg County right now. Of that group, 21 of them are accused of murder.
That comes as a shock to some, such as Lisa Crawford and other members of Mothers of Murdered Offspring, who wonder why they're out.
"It's just alarming. It's alarming that people with this kind of propensity for violence and have shown their lack of human life, are just freely walking among us,” said Crawford.
But Bill Stetzer, Homicide Team Supervisor with the district attorney's office, says there's a reason.
"In every murder case, except for capital murder, the defendant is entitled to a bond. So the defendant is entitled to go before a judge and ask for conditions of release. We oppose those conditions of release, and we try to keep defendants charged with murder in jail at all times,” said Stetzer.
CMPD Sgt. Dave Scheppegrell says these monitoring bracelets are standard practice.
"If you find somebody's charged with a felony assault involving a firearm, or a homicide, we request electronic monitoring at their first appearance,” said Scheppegrell.
He says there are people out, who they'd like to see in jail.
"Obviously some of these people are a danger to the community, and the police department wished they were in custody, but again they have a constitutional right for a fair bond, and if they're able to post that bond, we still think they need that additional supervision of that electronic monitoring,” said Scheppegrell.
So for those criminals who can get out on bond, Crawford says she's just grateful for that extra safety net the electronic monitors provide.
"Because without the bracelet, even at that point, they would just be running free, we wouldn't know where they are. When it comes to court time, who know if they'd show up or not," said Crawford.
They say there's no one solution for this problem since every case is different.
Stetzer says as soon as any of these individuals on electronic monitoring charged with murder commits a crime, they immediately try to have them placed back in custody.
Back to list