CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has found people charged in violent crimes not sitting in jail.
Instead, they’re getting sent home to be monitored by the court with an ankle bracelet. Even, suspected murderers. We took a look at what’s happening in Cuyahoga County after what we noticed in the case of Frank Giglio.
Video shows what happened last summer in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood. A van drove by two teens crossing a street, and someone fired shots from the van.
Weeks ago, Giglio was convicted of multiple charges, but a judge sent him home to wait to be sentenced. The court placed him on an ankle bracelet to keep watch on him.
The mother of one of the teens facing the gunfire said, “Is it fair? Am I supposed to pack up and move for the safety of my kids? I don’t think that’s fair.”
That led us to dig into other recent cases with suspects in violent crimes sent home on electronic monitoring instead of having to sit in jail.
We found a woman charged with murder released with an ankle bracelet waiting for trial. We also found a man charged with murder released on home monitoring waiting for trial. And, another man had been put on an ankle bracelet for gun charges. But, records show, he took off the ankle bracelet. And, then, police say, he killed someone in front of children.
We went to the administrative judge for Cuyahoga County court. We asked Judge Brendan Sheehan,
why is ankle bracelet GPS monitoring even an option for someone charged with murder, or some kind of shooting?
He pointed out each individual judge is responsible for cases in each courtroom.
And, judges consider if a suspect on house arrest is likely to come back to court and if a suspect is likely to be a danger on the streets.
“There’s no crystal ball that any judge sees,” Judge Sheehan said. “Obviously, the court is always weighing those balances. The nature and circumstances of that crime. The weight of the evidence against that individual. Each case has its own circumstances and cycles of the case.”
Cuyahoga County Prosecutors have argued against electronic monitoring in some of the cases we reviewed.
Prosecutor Michael O’Malley issued a statement saying, “Regretfully the Ohio Supreme Court has issued the DuBose v. McGuffey opinion which states that courts cannot consider public safety when setting a bond. Hopefully, this illogical decision will be corrected on the November ballot by State Issue 1, which is a constitutional amendment that will allow judges to consider public safety when setting a bond.”
Prosecutors also say Frank Giglio didn’t keep his ankle bracelet charged, so deputies hauled him back to jail.
That mother we spoke with doesn’t want victims of crime looking over their shoulders.
“It’s supposed to be a safe place. We don’t feel so safe anymore,” she said.
Last year, we also found a murder suspect on house arrest who then was tied to another murder while on the streets. We checked on that case, and we found some charges still moving through court.