One week ago after Cascade County (MT) Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Dunn was killed in the line of duty during a high-speed chase, we found out that the suspect, Adam Sanchez Jr., had a very long criminal history.
Last Monday, I asked this question:
After reading about Sanchez’s long criminal history from several different sources, I was left wondering why Sanchez was even free to roam our streets. After reading some on-line comments, it appears I am not the only one wondering.
What I discovered from the Tribune’s reporting through these Saturday and Sunday stories is that the Cascade County Attorney’s office and a State District Court Judge basically dropped the ball by allowing Sanchez to be freed.
The Tribune asked the question, “Why was Sanchez released after his April drug arrest?”
After Sanchez entered his guilty plea July 29 to two counts of criminal endangerment as part of a plea agreement in the November case, minutes from the hearing show that his public defender moved for his release “on his own recognizance,” or without requiring him to post a bond.
After the deputy county attorney prosecuting the case declined to object to the public defender’s motion, it was granted by presiding Judge Kenneth Neill.
Cascade County Attorney John Parker told the Tribune that his office had referred the case to federal authorities for investigation. Apparently that did not happen. The U.S. Attorney’s office told the Tribune “there was no federal pending case or matter referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
Deputy County Attorney Kory Larsen chimed in during the interviews with some worthy comments like “There isn’t anything in there that shows a propensity for violence,” and “If I could Monday-morning quarterback and put him back in, I sure would,” Larsen said. “But we don’t roll that way.”
Maybe the Cascade County Attorney’s office should “roll” more towards public safety.
To me this is easy – the citizens of Cascade County have seen the county attorney’s office fail us on several fronts under the leadership of Cascade County Attorney John Parker. From deals on drunken driving charges, to child abuse cases – too many people are given plea deals or not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I also have very little confidence in the four judges who make up the Cascade County District Court.
Police officers and Sheriff Deputies have time and again done their jobs in arresting people who break the law only to see them be set free or not be fully prosecuted. In the Sanchez case we found out through the outstanding reporting of the Tribune that state district court Judge Kenneth Neill allowed Sanchez to be release “on his own recognizance.”
I believe that Cascade County Attorney John Parker and Deputy County Attorney Kory Larsen and state district court Judge Kenneth Neill have lost the public’s trust. I voted for both Parker and Neill in the past, but never will I again. Although Parker is running unopposed in this November’s election, he still won’t get my vote.
All three should resign.
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