Report: Judge continues releasing dangerous and violent suspects from jail, refusing to set bail for them

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SEATTLE, WA – A King County District judge is gaining a reputation for being rather lenient on accused criminals, after the judge has seen the release of suspects accused of some very serious crimes. 

King County District Judge Lisa Paglisotti is starting to garner attention – and for all the wrong reasons.

She’s starting to come under scrutiny due to her appearing to be lenient when facing defendants accused of serious offenses via letting suspects out of jail on their own recognizance. 

Towards the end of February, Judge Paglisotti had afforded jail releases for three suspects – one accused in a high-profile drug case, and two other suspects accused of armed robbery. 

While some might say that drug offenses aren’t that terrible, it’s tough to coin armed robbery as being a not-so-serious offense.

But these are just examples of some of her most recent releases. 

The former public defender turned judge also has a history of administering own recognizance releases to defendants even when the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office specifically requests that bail be set. 

One of these cases involved Andre Duhon, an alleged drug dealer who police say was dealing narcotics out of homeless tents in Pioneer Square.

When police had arrested Duhon, he was reportedly in possession of nearly 5 ounces of meth, an ounce of marijuana, a few grams of cocaine and $200 in loose bills – usually evidence of street dealing.

But that’s not all.

After securing a search warrant for Duhon’s tent, officers reportedly uncovered a loaded revolver, nearly 5 ounces of meth, as well as small amounts of crack, heroin and numerous oxycodone pills. 

Furthermore, Duhan was also charged with assault back in 2020, which that case has yet to be settled.

So, considering the circumstances, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office asked for Duhan’s bail to be set at $10,000 since he is unlikely to reappear in court on his own free will and the current evidence against him is fairly compelling.

However, Judge Paglisotti ordered Duhan released on his own personal recognizance.

And the judge afforded that same leniency to Thorbjorn Lavern Thoresen back in December of 2020. Police reportedly found Thoresen in possession of over 6 ounces of meth, 66 doses of the oft-used heroin substitute Suboxone, as well as heroin and mushrooms. 

On top of that, police were also said to have found over $1,300 in cash and debit cards in other people’s names in Thoresen’s possession during his arrest. 

Yet, Judge Paglisotti released Thoresen on his own recognizance. 

Then there was the robbery suspects Judge Paglisotti released on their personal recognizance, Rafael Meyers and Jerry Plute. 

Meyers and Plute allegedly committed numerous robberies at a strip mall in West Seattle, allegedly breaking into a jewelry store and stealing a gun and also allegedly burgling an adjacent Sports Clips. 

In that case, prosecutors asked for $10,000 bail for Meyers and $1,000 for Plute. Yet, for whatever reason, Judge Paglisotti felt a personal recognizance release was better suited. 

And remember the inauguration day nonsense in Seattle where Antifa-type individuals rioted?

Judge Paglisotti decided to let one of the accused vandals who allegedly smashed a Starbucks glass storefront out on his own recognizance after prosecutors asked for bail to be set at $5,000.

And in that case, the suspect, 33-year-old Justin Christopher Moore, had allegedly even admitted to police that he, “smashed the windows and entered the Starbucks,” on January 20th. 

Conservative talk radio host Jason Rantz thinks that Judge Paglisotti’s past as a public defender is likely the influence behind her decisions while on the bench: 

“Paglisotti is a former public defender, which explains her light-on-crime approach to dangerous criminals.”

Whether that is or is not the case remains to be seen, but it is a concerning series of pretrial releases being enacted by the judge. 

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Seattle seemingly has a whole lot of strange things going on as of late, with now reports of homeless shelters providing residents with paraphernalia to use narcotics like heroin. 

We at Law Enforcement Today recently reported on that matter, here’s that previous report. 

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SEATTLE, WA- According to a recent report by KTTH, a Seattle-backed homeless shelter is reportedly encouraging heroin users to administer the drug rectally and is providing pipes to those who want to try to smoke the drug instead.

The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) passed out heroin pipes and so-called “booty bumping kits”. To inform addicts about the types of free drug use paraphernalia the shelter provides, DESC hung flyers at their Navigation Center on 12th Avenue South. 

Before listing the benefits of administering heroin rectally, one flyer proclaimed, “New at the Nav!!! Booty bumping kits.” On the flyer, the tax-funded shelter exclaimed:

“Good choice if your veins are hard to hit. Less risk of infection and abscesses. Less damage to skin and veins. Doesn’t leave tracks. Ask the front desk for kits and more info.”

A second flyer urged the addicts to consider smoking heroin instead of injecting it. The flyer read:

“Smoking is a lower-risk alternative to injection. Give it a try! You can now get 3 kinds of glass- bubbles, stems, and hammers. You can get one kind of each pipe once a week. Extra screens and mouthpieces are available at the front desk.”

Each flyer gave encouragement to addicts to use new tools and methods to continue their destructive and deadly addictions. Reportedly, officials with Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) will not directly respond to concerns over the advice or use of funds.

However, HSD said the methods being pushed by the DESC “reflect the varying needs of those experiencing homelessness in Seattle.” DESC Executive Director Daniel Malone told KTTH’s Jason Rantz, on the “Jason Rantz Show” that:

“The efforts we make are focused on reducing risk to people engaged in risky behaviors and helping people make use of treatment that can be helpful to them.”

Malone confirmed to Rantz that DESC uses “funds from our contract with the City of Seattle to purchase clean syringes and other harm reduction supplies.” Reportedly, those other supplies include the heroin pipes, but the “demand for clean syringes remains far higher than for other kinds of supplies.”

The City of Seattle refused to directly say if it endorsed the flyers or the use of city funds. Kevin Mundt, a spokesperson for the HSD, deflected direct questions and simply sent Rantz an explanation of what DESC offers. He referenced the flyers and said:

“I haven’t seen the flyers that you’re referring to and therefore, can’t comment specifically on the information or how it is presented.”

Rantz proceeded to then send him the flyers and he re-asked the same questions. Again, Mundt did not answer directly and instead said that DESC and HSD handle chronically homeless addicts.

Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office did not respond to two requests for comment by Rantz. Malone then argued the approach which he says offers “pragmatic interventions that reduce harm to the individual and overall community.” He added:

“We try to reduce the stigma around substance use and encourage clients to share openly and honestly about their experiences and needs. We speak to clients frankly and directly about the risks and dangers of substance use and the options available to them about changing their use.”

He added:

“We have substance use disorder counselor and opioid treatment nurse positions at the shelter who provide motivational interviewing and individual and group counseling.”

Malone said that the DESC has about 200 homeless people in medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Roughly 125 clients are in outpatient substance use disorder treatment, but he warned that:

“It’s not generally a linear process where people enter treatment and quit using and then become housed.”

He added:

“Overall, the harm reduction practices and supplies available at the Navigation Center are intended to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases (specifically HIV, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis A), reduce the possible medical complications from using substances, and reduce overdoses. They also open the door to conversations that can lead to behavior changes and long-term recovery.”

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