By Natasha Robin | Fox 8 | February 6, 2020
NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) – “The offenders appear to have gotten more consideration than the victims of these crimes of violence,” says Rafael Goyeneche.
Goyeneche, of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, calls some recent bonds at Criminal District Court, unfortunate.
Three suspects appeared before a Magistrate Commissioner. Each suspect received what Goyeneche says is extremely low bonds.
“It’s really upside down. There needs to be a balance between the offenders rights to be free on bail, but the bail has to be compared to the seriousness of the offense,” says Goyeneche.
Kirk Kendell was arrested for aggravated assault of a firearm. He’s ranked as a risk level 2.
“So, you’ve got a crime of violence with a prior misdemeanor and felon convictions. His bond is set at a thousand dollars,” says Goyeneche.
Donnell Robertson is accused of aggravated burglary and assault. He’s a risk level 1, and his bond is set at $2000.
“Which means for a couple of hundred dollars, he could post bond and get out. Again, what about the victim?” says Goyeneche.
The case though against Joetrara Norman, he says, seems to be the most shocking. Norman is accused of opening fire during a house party in New Orleans East. She’s a risk level 3.
“In reading the report, she’s lucky she wasn’t charged with attempted murder,” says Goyeneche.
Norman’s bond was set at $300.
“The risk that these offenders pose to the community and the seriousness of the crimes took a back seat,” says Goyeneche.
Norman and Robertson already bonded out of jail. Goyeneche says the low bond setting is nothing new, but he believes more should be in place to monitor the accused pre-trial offenders while they’re free.
“And the only way that you can begin to manage the people that are being released particularly charged with crimes of violence is to have electronic monitoring in place,” says Goyeneche.
The city released this statement: “Our focus at the moment is electronic monitoring for juveniles. We are not ruling out monitoring for adults. However, it would require additional, careful planning and an interagency agreement and funding.”