Something to remember in the pro-crime rush (euphemistically labeled 'criminal justice reform'), which includes the no-bail movement, there are reasons that we have jails and bail. And reasons we don't let out some criminals even on bail.
And reasons we try some juveniles as adults.
Because this is what happens when we do. And then the "reformers" have blood on their hands.
In April, Latavious Betts, then 16, was charged with murder but was released from jail by the Verona Police Department and Police Chief J.B. Long with only the juvenile’s signature.
On Dec. 7, the now 17-year-old Betts was in a vehicle going down County Road 45 in the Palmetto community when he fired a dozen or more shots into a house, killing a 66-year-old woman.
“Mr. Betts never should have been out on the streets,” said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson. “The (April) initial appearance and $50,000 bond was not approved by a judge. The waiver of initial appearance was not signed by a judge. And he was allowed to walk out of (the jail) without any kind of promissory note or surety. He walked out of here on a signature bond.”
On Tuesday afternoon, Johnson pointed to a paper trail of documents from Long and the Verona Police Department as reasons why Betts was free to continue to commit felonies.
When reached by phone late Tuesday in Natchez, Long would not answer questions on why he released a 16-year-old charged as an adult with murder on a recognizance bond.
But Betts was free, and he is still free.
“In my 15 years as sheriff, I have never seen anything like this,” Johnson said. “I can assure you that when we get our hands on him, he is not going to be getting out again.”
Betts is accused in the Dec. 7 drive-by shooting of a residence in Palmetto. There were eight people in the house at the time, including two children. Four adults were injured. Annie Walton died from her wounds. Arrest warrants have been issued, charging him with murder and aggravated assault.
Pro-crime means anti-victim and pro-murder.