NY criminal justice reform apparent in West Utica assault case

News

UTICA–Recent assaults in the city’s west end present examples how new changes to the state’s criminal justice system are impacting cases.

Earlier this fall, two men in their thirties and a 78-year-old woman were injured over the course of several weeks.

How did it happen? Police say robbery.

Police say perpetrators called food establishments, requested delivery to an address and–when the delivery drivers showed up–at least two people physically assaulted the driver; taking food, money or both.

Two males were charged–one is seventeen, the other is nineteen.

Because of the new ‘Raise the Age’ policy,’ the juvenile was taken to a holding facility–which happens to be outside Oneida County.

The adult male charged, Jeremiah Reed, currently could have been held in jail if he didn’t post bail.

But, the judge who arraigned Reed (Hon. Anthony Sege) released him on his own recognizance–known as an ‘ROR.’

“I think a lot of it had to do with the upcoming change in the law, that an ROR was appropriate. Obviously we didn’t feel that way. We had asked for bail, and the law is what it is right now,” Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara said.

Effective, Jan. 1, cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent felony offenses will be eliminated.

On Wednesday, Eyewitness News reached out to Sege’s court office; inquiring if his decision was due, in part, to pending changes to bail.

No response was received.

However, the day after Reed was let go his case went back to city court.

McNamara said “it was sent to the court of original jurisdiction. In this case, Utica.”

There, “Judge Eannace reconsidered bail and actually did set bail, and at the defendant’s family posted bail,” McNamara said.

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