Gun-controlled Chicagoland: Judges keep sending felony suspects home and they keep trying to kill people

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CHICAGO, IL – Judge Charles Beach handed down a little wisdom to 20-year-old Keyon Hayes at the end of his November bail hearing on felony gun charges. Consider it unheeded.

Judge Beach said to Hayes:

“Mr. Hayes, you seem like a reasonable young man, and it seems like you care about your future. If that’s the case, start making decisions commensurate with that type of concern … The fastest way to go down in a spiral is to be in possession of a weapon. It’s as simple as that. Good luck to you, sir.”

 

The spiral commenced March 26 when, while free on a recognizance bond, Hayes allegedly opened fire on his ex-girlfriend’s house in the Austin neighborhood. One of the bullets struck a man in the head, leaving him brain dead, Assistant State’s Attorney Loukas Kalliantasis said.

The bond had been set by a subsequent judge and Hayes had been ordered to wear an ankle monitor that was supposed to enforce a 24-hour curfew.

Hayes is the 12th person charged with killing or shooting someone, or attempting to, in Chicago this year while awaiting trial on at least one felony charge. The alleged crimes have involved at least 21 victims, five of whom have died, authorities said.

The saga began in early November, when Chicago police allegedly saw Hayes carrying a black satchel with an extended magazine sticking out of it and arrested him. So far, so good.

But then bond court Judge Beach ruled Hayes could go home on a 7 p.m.-to-7 a.m. curfew by posting a deposit of $300 on a $3,000 bail, which Hayes could not raise. Two months later, Judge Peggy Chiampas released Hayes on his own recognizance with a 24-hour curfew, according to court records.

The curfew would be enforced by an ankle monitor administered by the office of Chief Judge Timothy Evans.

In 2019, Judge Evans publicly stated, “we haven’t had any horrible incidents occur” under the court’s bond reform initiative. Last year, the chief judge’s office told CWB Chicago that curfew participants do not wear GPS-equipped bracelets. Instead, it said the court’s home monitoring system:

“. . .only detects whether a body-worn device is in range of the base station during scheduled curfew hours.”

Kalliantasis said on March 29 that his office was in the process of collecting data from Hayes’ ankle monitor as evidence of involvement in the shooting.

With those building blocks in place, a freed Hayes on March 25 allegedly texted his former girlfriend, saying:

“So you going to ignore me? Don’t say nothing when you die.”

The next evening, Hayes left his house and went to a spot where he knew she and two friends would be hanging out, Kalliantasis said.

Hayes sent the former girlfriend another text that threatened to “nail” the two friends she was with, according to Kalliantasis, prompting the group to leave the location.

As they did, Hayes approached the woman’s car and fired several rounds at her and one of the friends, Kalliantasis said. No one was injured.

 

Hayes knocked on the woman’s front door about 30 minutes later, at 8:42 p.m. He was admitted into the house, where he started arguing with his ex about their relationship. He was asked to leave, and he complied, only to return a few minutes later and fire shots into the home from the street, Kalliantasis alleged.

One of the friends, a 32-year-old man standing on the front porch, was struck in the head and knee. The other man escaped injury. Hayes’ former girlfriend was not injured.

ShotSpotter technology and 911 calls sent police to the scene, where officers arrested Hayes nearby after a short foot chase. Police report the officers found a handgun that Hayes had dropped while running. Preliminary tests show it expended the five shell casings found at the scene, Kalliantasis said.

Hayes allegedly admitted to shooting at the victims both times — in the car and at the home.

In addition to the felony gun case, Hayes has a pending felony manufacture-delivery case, Kalliantasis said.

Assistant Public Defender Suzin Farber said Hayes is the father of a small child and is in the 12th grade.

In November, a different public defender said Hayes was a ward of the state, according to CWB Chicago. Hayes personally told Judge Beach that he was trying to get into the Job Corps. He pleaded with Beach to release him from custody so he could pursue that opportunity. After hearing Hayes speak, Beach lowered the amount he’d need to pay to get out of jail from $500 to $300 and delivered the speech that was supposed to stop that spiral into a life of criminality.

Finally, with enough evidence that Hayes just might be a threat to the community, Judge Maryam Ahmad on Tuesday ordered him held without bail on three counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery by discharging a firearm. She also ordered him held without bail for violating the bond terms in his two pending cases.

It remains to be seen if Hayes will at last take the judge’s words to heart.

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As Chicago crime skyrockets, suddenly liberals are starting to realize ‘bail reform’ was a really bad idea

January 20, 2022

CHICAGO, IL – The East Lake View Neighbors held their first virtual meeting of the year on January 6th in which the topic was the growing crime rate in the city of Chicago.

One of the biggest items of note during the meeting was a State Senator conceding that the new bail reform law needs “a lot of changes.”

One of the main topics of the Zoom meeting was how the city and state leaders are working to ensure the safety of their citizens after the city finished its deadliest year since the 1990s.

Some believe that it is safer to remain in their homes than go out into the community for shopping or entertainment, something that City Alderman Tom Tunney thinks is a disgrace. Tunney said:

“We need people to be out and not afraid. The idea of staying in our homes, I don’t believe that’s the answer.”

Tunney went on to say that he and fellow alderman James Cappleman have pushed the issue of restaffing the 19th police district with Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Police Superintendent David Brown.

The 19th District is responsible for patrolling Lakeview and surrounding neighborhoods.

When Lightfoot first came into office in 2019, the district housed 382 sworn police officers and increased to a total of 416. However, since that time, staffing in the precinct has shrunk to barely 300, a number which Tunney alleges equates to an increase in crime. He said:

“Do the math and see the consequences.”

Democratic Illinois State Senator Sara Feigenholtz, who was a proud supporter of the recent criminal justice reform bill that went into effect in 2021, spoke about the increase in crime and seemingly admitted that there were errors in the bill. She said:

“We are looking very closely to some of the reforms that we enacted. It’s a big bill, and we’re gonna have to go back and make a lot of changes and remediate.

I don’t think that anybody bargained for repeat offenders and people who were in possession of a gun and accused of violent crime to be released on a bond…We have a lot of work to do.”

While the alderman’s that were present and Feigenholtz seem to concede that repeat offenders may be a problem, Cook County Assistant District Attorney Aileen Bhandari disagrees.

Bhandari claims that few violent offenders have been released on bond or electronic monitoring that go on to commit new crimes.

Bhandari cited a study conducted by Loyola University which found that 17 percent of defendants were charged with new crimes while on some type of bail in Cook County. The problem with the study is that it only analyzed information from late 2017 until early 2018.

More recent data, released by Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans in June of 2021, shows that 18.2 percent of people who are out on a felony bond are being charged with new crimes.

According to CWB Chicago, that number has been steadily increasing since 2017.

After Bhandari provided her reasoning as to why the recent bail reform laws have little impact on public safety, Feigenholtz chimed in:

“You talk about a Loyola study and blah blah blah…when you say you can’t tell us, you can’t give us data on who has violated conditions of their electronic monitoring and bond?”

Bhandari admitted that she did not have the number of those persons who are out on bond and/or electronic monitoring that go on to commit different crimes or violations of their release. She said:

“I don’t know how those numbers, because there’s a combination between the clerk’s office, bail bonds being filed…”

What this could mean, to Feigenholtz’s point, is that the Cook County judicial system is playing semantics when it comes to reporting who is being arrested while out on bond and/or electronic monitoring.

Are officials with the Cook County Judicial system only releasing information for new violent crime offenses and not the real number of everyone out on bond and/or electronic monitoring being arrested for any offense and/or violation of their bond requirements?

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