By Natasha Robin | January 7, 2019 at 5:50 PM CST – Updated January 7 at 8:09 PM
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – Stephan Raby was extradited from Mississippi to New Orleans on a cruelty to a juvenile charge last Friday. Just hours after police brought him to the city in handcuffs, Magistrate Commissioner Jonathan Friedman issued him an ROR or free bond.
“It’s disturbing. The facts that were available to the magistrate commissioner in the arrest warrant lay out to me a homicide,” said Rafael Goyeneche.
Goyeneche, who heads crime watchdog the Metropolitan Crime Commission, points to a warrant obtained by FOX 8 that gives details in the case.
According to that warrant, in October of 2017, Raby left Mississippi with his girlfriend and the couple’s 4-year-old son in a vehicle, and headed to New Orleans to purchase heroin.
Once at the buy, the warrant states there was a disagreement, and Raby stole narcotics from the dealer before he jumped back in the vehicle and took off. It states the dealer chased them and struck their vehicle. Raby then struck a tree and the vehicle burst into flames.
His 4-year-old son was ejected, and the child’s mother burned to death inside the vehicle.
“That report makes it clear that the father of the child is a witness to a homicide, and the question is, does he have a culpability in that homicide?” Goyeneche said.
Police booked Raby with cruelty to a juvenile based on his attempt to purchase narcotics in the presence of his little boy. Investigators, though, tell FOX 8 they believe Raby has information pertaining to the death of the child’s mother, and their investigation is not over.
“This is an act that not only resulted in an injury of a child, but the loss of life to the child’s mother. That’s certainly things that the Commissioner should take into consideration when setting bail. So essentially this guy was given a get-out-of-jail-free card by the Commissioner,” Goyeneche said.
Commissioner Friedman also signed and granted a motion for Raby to leave the jurisdiction.
“So, the state went through a lot of time and effort and money to bring this person back in, only to have him released for free,” Goyeneche said.
We reached out to Magistrate Court for a comment about the bond, but we have not heard back.