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

  • Towards better policing
    An ACLU manual for dealing with police abuse in your community […]
  • How health insurance is getting worse
    Vox […]
  • It takes a village to write a Hillary Clinton speech or book
    Hillary Clinton initially pretended that she wrote It Takes a Village herself. Eventually it came out that this wasn't true and that she had paid a writer $120,000 to do the job. In the interest of further transparency shouldn't the Clintons reveal the ghostwriters or their multi-million dollar collection of speeches, and how much these writers wer […]
  • America’s biggest criminals
    JP Morgan and Citibank Major drug dealers and their pals NSA & CIA Sam Smith - Although lawyers would have you believe that you aren’t a criminal unless you violate a law that subjects you to criminal punishment, lawyers aren’t in charge of our words and their meanings. If we turn instead to the Merriam Webster Dictionary we find that crimes are more gen […]
  • One simple reason there isn't more popular support for infrastructure
    One simple reason there isn't more public support for infrastructure is because it's called infrastructure and not - as it was back when it was popular - public works. It's another example of how products of grad schools - lawyers, MBAs, economists - have made government lose touch with its people. If you don't speak United States, how is […]
  • France approves law to reduce waste food
    Guardian - France’s parliament has pledged to crack down on a national epidemic of food waste by passing a law banning supermarkets destroying unsold food, instead obliging them to give it to charities or put it to other uses such as animal feed. The national assembly voted unanimously in favor of the measure, proposed by the Socialist deputy Guillaume Garot […]
  • TOP of the GOP
    From Think Progress Angered by the Obama administration’s work to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said that administration “is willing to negotiate with Iran, but they won’t negotiate with Alaska.”According to the Salt Lake Tribune: Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, said he was told by a terrorism expert […]
  • Why are pop lyrics so dumb?
    Claire Bernish, Antimedia - Ten years ago, the most popular songs read between a third and fourth grade level, but the inanity only increased with time, and after a five-year downward tumble ending in 2014 (the last year of the study), chart-topping hits had a reading level equivalent to second or third grade. Broken into genres, the levels measured just 2.6 […]
  • A new type of wind turbine
      Grist - Instead of blades that turn in the breeze, the turbine is just a hollow straw that sticks up 40 feet from the ground and vibrates like a guitar string when the wind thrums by...The result is a turbine that’s 50 percent less expensive than a bladed one, nearly silent, and, as one of the turbine’s engineers put it, “looks like asparagus” And while ea […]
  • FBI can't point to any major case aided by unconstitutional Patriot Act
    Washington Times - FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tr […]
  • Why it's okay to call the TPP fast track fascism
    The effort to ram through a secret anti-democratic, anti-constitutional trade bill is another sign of America's silent drift towards fascism. Fascism is not Nazism, but rather a form of government as definable as, say, democracy. Here's how I described it almost a decade ago: Sam Smith, 2006 - In the first place, one needs to separate Hitler, Nazis […]
  • Kansas proves massive tax cuts don't work
    Center on Budget & Policy Priorities - The latest projections from Kansas' nonpartisan Legislative Research Department add to the mounting evidence that Kansas' massive tax cuts won't likely generate an economic surge. Personal incomes will grow more slowly in Kansas than in the nation as a whole this year, next year, and the year after th […]
  • Special ops leaders want another a couple of decades of failure in the Mid East
    Kimberly Dozier, Daily Beast - Fighting simmering frustration in their ranks over ISIS advances in Iraq and Syria, top U.S. special operations commanders say they are building forces for a multi-generational fight—not a war that will be won in the next few years.“We talk about it being a 15-year struggle,” Lt. Gen. Bradley Heithold, who heads the Air Force S […]
  • Links: Seniors
    Senior news Old age Medicare Social Security   Essays No retirement age for rebellion Thoughts on old age The real problem with Social Security Word: Social Security Why Social Security and Medicare are not going bankrupt Social Security is massive anti-poverty program   Groups Nat Com on Preserving Social Security and Medicare Social Security Works Gray Pan […]
  • Word
    Wandering between two worlds, one dead, the other powerless to be born. -- Matthew Arnold […]