By Kaitlin Rust | WVUE | June 14, 2021
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – A call for more answers follows the arrest of Bryan Andry in the fatal stabbing of 7th Ward physical therapist Portia Pollock.
Many want to know why a man with a criminal history like his was released on a lower bond to begin with.
“Nothing we do will bring that wonderful person back, but if we can do something to make sure that this is not duplicated ever again, I think we have a responsibility to do,” Councilmember Jay H. Banks said.
Head of the Criminal Justice Committee, Banks says calling the Chief Judge in front of the committee to get answers is not meant to look for someone to blame, rather figure out how the ankle monitor process works.
“Electronic monitoring ought to be for somebody who is not a threat to another human being,” Banks said. “Once you have violated someone, I think you forfeit that right, that is me, now again, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a judge, I’m speaking just as what I consider to be a rational person and somebody that is fearful.”
Bryan Andry, 47, is accused of stabbing Portia Pollock, 60, to death and stealing her car. He was wearing an ankle monitor when the crime took place according to NOPD.
“Was it operational? Who was monitoring? Nobody has identified who was monitoring,” Rafael Goyeneche with the Metropolitan Crime Commission said.
The ankle monitor along with drug rehab were conditions for his release on bond just a few months ago on two counts of armed robbery.
Andry spent most of last year in jail in New Orleans for that crime. Former Judge Franz Zibilich set his bond at $250,000, but newly-elected Judge Angel Harris reduced Andry’s bond in February to $100,000 and Andry got out in March.
“He should never have had his bail reduced and that’s based on the fact that Louisiana law requires a judge taken consideration 10 factors in setting bail,” Goyeneche said.
Andry’s arrest history stretches back to 1991 with convictions for things like possession of drugs, illegally carrying a weapon and aggravated burglary.
“Violence in his history, a long history of felony convictions and four current serious felony offenses,” Goyeneche said.
Goyeneche says court records show Judge Harris never inquired about the monitor in court. He believes the responsibility of ankle monitors should lie in law enforcements hands rather then the bail bond company.
“If the company reports someone is violating the conditions of their release, they lose money because, potentially, the judge can revoke their release and remand them back to jail,” Goyeneche said. “So, there’s a financial incentive, at least in theory, for the monitoring company to overlook potential violations.”
Right now, Andry is charged with second degree murder and his bond is set at $1.5 million.
The Criminal Justice Committee will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Wednesday night at 6 p.m., the community is holding a vigil for Pollock at her home in the 1500 block of North Dorgenois.