MILWAUKEE — The man accused of driving through the Waukesha parade got out of jail in Milwaukee County on a $1,000 bond. Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm went before a Milwaukee County committee Thursday to admit one of his prosecutors made a mistake.
Milwaukee County court records show the prosecutor in question has been assigned to 109 felony domestic abuse cases this year. In 45 of those cases, defendants had cash bonds set at $1,000 or less. TMJ4 News has uncovered that out of those 45 cases, ten defendants have been charged with additional felonies while they were out on bond and awaiting trial.
“There are explanations for what happened, there are no excuses,” D.A. Chisholm said.
D.A. Chisholm said human error led to the decision to set bail at $1,000 for Darrell Brooks Jr. Brooks posted that bond less than a week before prosecutors say he drove into the Waukesha Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring dozens of others.
D.A. Chisholm says the prosecutor in his office who asked for the $1,000 bail never saw Brooks’ public safety assessment that put him at high risk of re-offending.
“You had a young A.D.A. (assistant district attorney) trying to do the very best she could under really difficult circumstances and she made a mistake,” he said.
- DA: Overworked assistant set bail too low for parade suspect
- Other Milwaukee County domestic abuse case bails set similar to Waukesha parade suspect's
- Milwaukee Co. DA's office says bail was 'inappropriately low' on person of interest in Waukesha parade incident
TMJ4 News reviewed that assistant district attorney’s cases and how bail was set for domestic abuse felonies. In 41 percent of the cases she’s prosecuted this year, the defendants’ bails were set at $1,000 or less.
Court records show among those 45 defendants who received bail at or below $1,000, ten defendants, including Brooks, are accused of going on to re-offend.
Specifically, the ten defendants are charged with felonies for additional crimes prosecutors say they committed after posting bail and awaiting trial.
A woman named Tamara Cole initially had her bail set at $500 this spring for accusations of knowingly violating a domestic abuse order. Court records show she’s been charged with more than ten felonies after posting bail of $1,000 or less four separate times this year.
The A.D.A. in question also handled defendant Isaiah Bernard’s case after he was charged with a felony strangulation charge. The bail was set at $500 by the court in June. Two weeks ago, Bernard was charged with two felony counts of child abuse.
Patrick Cafferty is a Racine criminal defense attorney with past experience as a prosecutor.
- How to help victims of the Waukesha Christmas parade tragedy
- 6 dead, 62 people hurt after driver speeds into crowd at Waukesha Christmas parade
"That seems extraordinarily high to me that 25 percent of the people who were allowed out on a thousand dollar cash bail went on to re-offend,” he said. “I think this will fuel the debate further. Some of these cases sort of become political footballs."
Aside from Brooks, Cole and Bernard, seven other defendants who are being prosecuted by the same assistant district attorney are facing additional felony charges for crimes prosecutors claim they committed after posting bail of $1,000 or less.
Deandre Lamar Grimes was charged with felony bail jumping and for knowingly violating a domestic abuse order in February. Court records show he posted a $500 cash bond and he was charged in August with felony sexual assault, use of force, two counts of felony bail jumping and for knowingly violating a domestic abuse order. His bond was increased to $30,000 with the additional charges.
Juan Joseph Gaona was charged with felony bail jumping in early June and posted a $750 cash bond. Prosecutors claim he re-offended one month later and is charged with stalking resulting in bodily harm, violating a domestic abuse order, and two counts of felony bail jumping. His bail was increased to $5,000.
Davion D. Allen posted a $500 signature bond after he was charged with felony strangulation/suffocation. Court records show he allegedly re-offended in November. Allen has since been charged with felony bail jumping and for carrying a concealed weapon. Court records show his cash bond was set at $100 on November 28.
Tyrone Carlos Skinner was charged in April with felony battery. He posted a $500 cash bond. Two months later, he was charged with felony armed robber with threat of force. He was given a signature bond of $1,000 on June 22.
James Edward Smart Jr. was charged with felony battery and misdemeanor disorderly conduct in May. He posted a $500 cash bond and prosecutors say he re-offended in June. He has been charged with intimidating a victim, threatening force, battery and disorderly conduct.
Anthony D. Lockwood was charged with strangulation, criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct in June. He posted a $500 bail on June 14. Court records show he was charged with disorderly conduct and two counts of felony bail jumping one month later. He posted a $1,000 cash bail. Court records show Lockwood was charged again in late September with three counts of felony bail jumping and disorderly conduct.
Cierra Shamika McCloud was charged in February with substantial battery. She posted a $700 cash bond. On September 18, she received additional charged of felony bail jumping, criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct and her new bail was set at $500.
Catina M. Pinkins was charges with two felony counts of recklessly endangering safety in early August. She posted a $1,000 cash bond. Prosecutors say she re-offended on bond four weeks later. She has since been charged with battery, disorderly conduct, use of a dangerous weapon and felony bail jumping. Her bond remained the same at $1,000.