Feb 15, 2017

Jail let man with $50,000 bail, an arrest warrant free on OR, minutes before he would have paid bail

Yesterday, at 4:45 p.m. a friend of Jacob Stefek, a man charged with four felony charges and an warrant was getting ready to pay a local bail company $5,000 towards a $50,000 bail

Instead, the jail let the guy go on OR.

Speaking with a local bail company representative, he said "this is the second time this has happened this month."

It is not about the money, it is the lack of incentive to return to court.

Covering local courts regularly, I see quite a few failures to appear and bench warrants issued daily. It can happen with bail; but with no bail, what incentive is there for someone to show up? If you are like the guy above, none.

Taxpayers foot the bill to get the person in custody. And, the community is at risk. Law enforcement resources fighting crime are instead being spent babysitting the recepients of California's lax law aka get out of jail free card.

I checked the court computers earlier today, they listed four felonies. Whether that record or the jail record is accurate for the one charge is something record keepers should look into, not just for this case.

Have contacted the jail and Sheriff's office.

Response from jail:

I reviewed the release of Mr. Stefek at the request of US Honsal. Mr. Stefek was released as an ORAS-Felony Release pursuant to our current court order based on population triggers. At the time of Mr. Stefek's release our facility count was 395. Mr. Stefek was arrested for an arrest warrant that was 3 felony marijuana charges and a misdemeanor drug charge. Arrest warrants are not created by a failure to appear in court they are the direct result of a new filing from the DA office that has gone to warrant for arrest. Mr. Stefek has never been in custody here previously therefore his scoring on our risk assessment was considered low based on our scoring factors. Furthermore the agency that arrested him has been advised and has the option of filling out a Request for Non-Release to request he not be eligible for an ORAS (Risk assessment based) release. If you have any further questions feel free to contact me.

Duane Christian
Staff Lieutenant
Humboldt County Sheriff's Office

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