CHICAGO — The arrival of cashless bail in Illinois on Monday brought some interesting decisions by prosecutors and judges at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse at 26th and California.
Prosecutors didn’t even ask a judge to hold two people charged with robbery in jail. And a guy accused of slugging a cop in the face went home, too. No ankle monitors for any of them.
Charlie Jones, 30, is one of the defendants who appeared for a detention hearing on Day 1. Prosecutors said he punched a uniformed Chicago police officer in the face as the cop tried to disperse a large crowd in the 200 block of North Wabash early Sunday morning.
Prosecutors didn’t ask Judge Mary Marubio to hold him in jail. A source within the Cook County state’s attorney’s office said the SAFE-T Act prohibits them from asking for someone to be detained for battering a police officer unless the cop suffers “great bodily harm.”
Instead, the judge told him to contact the court’s pre-trial services office, show up for court dates, avoid contacting the victim, and follow other routine directions. He went home to wait for trial for felony aggravated battery of a peace officer and misdemeanor resisting.
Earlier in the same court session, Marubio sent 24-year-old Esmeralda Aguilar home without any restrictions after prosecutors accused her of intentionally pepper spraying four cops in the Loop during the same “group incident” that Jones was allegedly involved in. According to Aguilar’s arrest report, two of the officers were treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Again, prosecutors didn’t ask Marubio to keep her in jail.
Illinois Senate Republic Leader John Curran heard about Aguilar’s court appearance.
“Reports that on the very first day of no cash bail, a violent offender arrested for attacking four Chicago Police Officers, sending two of them to the hospital, was immediately released because the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office didn’t even bother to file a motion to seek detaining the accused are problematic,” Curran said in a written statement Tuesday. “This highlights the misplaced priorities of Illinois’ criminal justice system when the prosecutor prioritizes the freedom of a violent offender over the safety of those police officers dedicated to protecting and serving our communities. Is there any wonder why police recruitment is at an all-time low in this state?”
In another courtroom, three women were accused of punching, kicking, pepper spraying, and robbing a 44-year-old woman of two gold necklaces and her iPhone on the West Side over the weekend.
Prosecutors didn’t even try to have two of them jailed. However, they tried to have the third woman detained because she was given probation less than a month ago for battering a pregnant woman. Judge Susana Ortiz denied the “safety detention” request.
Ortiz released Christine Longstreet, 29, and Sharion Moore, 36, with the usual instructions to stay in the state, avoid the crime scene, and refrain from contacting the victim.
The third woman, Daniella Robinson, was detained temporarily until the judge handling her probation could get up to speed on the new allegations. For the robbery case, Ortiz said she would need to go on electronic monitoring.