Categorized | Crime, Features, Local, Opinion

Rev. Freed’s Slaying and the Deadly Probation Fail

 

One Small Detail Not Mentioned: 
Suspect Was on Probation and Shouldn’t Have Been Released From Jail 

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The crime stats for Eureka are indeed bad.  Very bad.  
The reasons are varied and many.

The Eureka Police Department has 100 sworn employees for less than a 15-mile square area.  To note, the top 10 EPD officers make upwards of $90,000+ a year.  The Chief of Police pulled in a total compensation of $156,000 in 2010.  Eureka also has the agreed upon assistance of the HCSO, CHP, Humboldt Bay Fire, the Probation and Parole Departments, and the FBI within the city limits.

That apparently isn’t enough to take a bite out of crime in Eureka.

An overcrowded jail that releases offenders early doesn’t help matters of crime, either.  But let’s take a closer look at one situation that happened recently.

After being brought to the jail on a new offense, Gary Lee Bullock, the alleged suspect in Rev. Freed’s slaying, was released on his OR (own recognizance) only a few hours before Freed’s murder.  Unbelievably, EPD was called back and contacted him again a second time due to his erratic behavior.  Bullock was merely referred to the Rescue Mission at that time.

One of the rarely mentioned points to consider is this: Mr. Bullock was placed on a three-year probation term
back in April for cocaine possession.  Along with that grant
of probation came a set of terms which Bullock agreed to for
obeying all laws of the community– or he’d be back in  jail.

When originally brought to the jail he should have been retained on a ‘Probation Hold’ until the Humboldt County Probation Department or District Attorney’s Office—who had the  jurisdiction in the matter– properly assessed his situation.  That didn’t occur.

That’s the whole idea behind the preventative  ’community safety’ thing.  There are pre- and post release procedures in place that should have been followed for individuals granted probation.  Were they?  A process exists providing for an appropriate level of scrutiny and investigation of probationers arrested for new offenses, duly superseding jail overcrowding and holding them before subsequent release into the community.

Once Bullock’s second law enforcement contact was made, he certainly should have been returned to the jail so his situation could be looked into further by his probation officer.  He was clearly– twice– in violation of the terms of his probation in a relatively short period of time.  And yet nothing happened.

Mr. Bullock, despite his felony probation status, surprisingly wasn’t held whatsoever for his case to be reviewed.  More unbelievably, he was released out of the jail– kicked out the door and onto the street to himself without assessment or any supervision whatsoever– at 12:43 in the morning on January 1, hours before the Catholic priest’s slaying in the Eureka rectory merely a few blocks away from the jail, EPD headquarters, and directly across the street from the Probation Department’s Adult Services Division.

Bullock’s probation status and lack of supervision hasn’t been brought up nor
is it widely known to the public.  It warrants investigation because other incidents, similar in nature, have been occurring routinely.  In fact, it is quietly happening all too often following our review of several hundred crime reports over the past two years. 

Think Jason Warren’s alleged brutal murder of Dorothy Ulrich and the subsequent hit and run of the Bayside joggers.  In that instance, Warren, already sentenced to State Prison, never should have been released from the jail to freely engage in his murderous rampage upon others.

We wonder if things would have turned out differently if the ‘probation hold’ process that was in place and should have occurred actually happened, and to what degree it did in both cases.  When the system fails, it fails for all of us.

Both situations should have turned out differently.  But Probation Officers and District Attorneys don’t like to work after 5 pm, on the weekends, or on the holidays.  And the jail and courts finds it far too easy to release those in custody early as long as nothing bad ever happens.

In these cases and others, however, something bad did happen.  With deadly and dire consequences.  Oops.

We hope the Grand Jury or Superior Court will look into whether the proper probation pre-and post release procedures were actually followed in both the Gary Lee Bullock and Jason Warren cases– and to the totality of circumstances as to why they happened in the first place.

Otherwise, these situations will happen again and again with random precision, a deadly and ongoing criminal problem falling through the cracks of a complacent bureaucracy– and swept under the rug as necessary.

* * * * * * *

As the County pleads for more jail funding and the Eureka City Council and Police Department look to increase taxes by extending Measure O (which provided $8.7 million for public safety since it was enacted in 2010), citizens may want to ask the conductors of the ‘give-us-more-money’ gravy train if we’re actually getting the services we’re already paying for.

Please share and link this article with others.

One Response to “Rev. Freed’s Slaying and the Deadly Probation Fail”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Having talked with many Sohum miscreants, I have heard that these after midnight/early AM releases happen often. I hope the Grand Jury can look into the frequency of these releases, and the source of what truly appears to be a policy. Tragic.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks


Leave a Reply

HumSentinel on Twitter

RSS Progressive Review

  • The surprising state where all electricity is community owned
    Yes Magazine - In the United States, there is one state, and only one state, where every single resident and business receives electricity from a community-owned institution rather than a for-profit corporation. It is not a famously liberal state like Vermont or Massachusetts. Rather, it is conservative Nebraska, with its two Republican Senators and two (out […]
  • Links: Activism
    Action news Ferguson action How to plan your own Moral Monday Building peace teams Cellphone guide for protesters Why we need history   Corporations that have deserted the US for tax purposes  BOYCOTTS Israel Koch Brothers Land O Lakes Monsanto Nestle Staples Walmart ACTIONS Detroit Water Brigade Moral Mondays Bad Ass Teachers Tar Sands protests Occupy ACLU […]
  • Unemployment insurance at lowest level in three decades
    NNPA - With no federal unemployment insurance and rapidly disappearing state coverage, the percentage of people benefiting from unemployment insurance is at its lowest level in more than three decades, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute.EPI said the unemployment insurance recipient rate tumbled to 23.1 percent in December 2014, beating th […]
  • The real economy: Cost of living
    Fewer people skipped needed health care due to its cost or reported trouble paying medical bills in 2014, a new survey finds. These improvements, the first since the Commonwealth Fund began asking these questions roughly a decade ago, came as health reform’s major coverage expansions took effect in 2014. Among the survey’s findings: The number of people ages […]
  • Thousands protest Indiana anti-gay law
    Reuters  - Thousands of people marched in Indiana's largest city on Saturday to protest a state law that supporters contend promotes religious freedom but detractors see as a covert move to support discrimination against gay people.Waving signs reading "No hate in our state" and carrying rainbow flags, a crowd of at least 2,000 people includin […]
  • Climate change endangers Gulf Stream
    Eco Watch - Climate scientists Michael Mann and Stefan Rahmstorf announced the findings of their new study, which shows that the rapid melting of the polar ice has slowed down currents in the Atlantic Ocean, particularly since 1970. The scientists say “the slowdown in ocean currents will result in sea level rise in cities like New York and Boston, and temper […]
  • A teacher on standardized tests
    Emily Talmage has seven years of teaching experience in New York City and Maine, as well as a masters degree in urban education from Mercy College and a masters degree in developmental psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University.Emily Talmage, Washington Post -  As a teacher of 20 vibrant, curious, and, yes, often challenging fourth graders at Mont […]
  • There are only two big forest areas left in the world
    Think Progress - Findings, published in the journal Science Advances, offer some of the longest-term evidence available on how ecosystems and species react to habitat loss and fragmentation over time. The trend is distinctively negative. “There is a consistent loss of species — birds, butterflies, plants — across every experiment, and these experiments varie […]
  • Higher education costs soaring
    Washington Post - With rare exceptions, sticker prices at colleges go nowhere but up. In 2012, Sarah Lawrence College in New York crossed a threshold for tuition, fees, room and board that dozens of others have now topped: $60,000 a year. Sometime soon, prices will surpass $70,000. Factoring in books, plane tickets, other expenses and inflation, a student en […]
  • Harry Reid may have more than physical health problems
    “The record book that records will be written about the eight years of Obama and Reid, never in the history of the country — never in the history of the country — have we produced more for a president and somebody that’s led his party than we’ve done together,” - Harry Reid  on KNPR radio. […]
  • Ex girlfriend describes Andreas Lubitz' strange behavior
    Daily Mail, UK - Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz told an ex-lover he was planning an act so heinous his name would be remembered for ever, it was claimed today as police revealed evidence found at his home suggests he had a 'serious psychosomatic illness'.The 26-year-old Germanwings stewardess, known only as Maria W, revealed to a German newspaper how Lubi […]
  • Iowa governor is a much more fun email denier than Hillary Clinton
    Jeff Guo, Washington Post - Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has insisted for years that doesn’t own a smartphone or use e-mail. That’s what he has staff for — to e-mail, to tweet, to Instagram, to Facebook on his behalf.But in what local papers are portraying as a gotcha moment this week, it was discovered that Branstad indeed gets e-mails on his personal BlackBerr […]
  • Word: Bergdahl
    Djelloul Marbrook:  Prosecuting Bergdahl is a farce. Bergdahl but not Petraeus, who divulged sensitive data? Bergdahl but not the high-level brass who licensed the horrors of Abu Graib? Bergdahl but not Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush?... Bergdahl was sick, the others were plain evil. We’re acting like the schoolyard bully who preys on the we […]
  • Infrequently asked questions
    Working Maine […]
  • Links: The young
    Young news Colleges & universitiesGeneration gap Statistics Student loans & debt GROUPS CENTER FOR CAMPUS ORGANIZING EDUCATORS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY STUDENTS FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY STUDENT ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION COALITION Academic Freedom AD HOC COMMITTEE TO DEFEND THE UNIVERSITY FNDTN FOR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS IN EDUCATION Student Debt Student Debt […]