A Massachusetts teenager arrested with a loaded gun while riding in a stolen car has been set free by a Manhattan judge — despite prosecutors appealing for bail “vastly out of state” for the suspect, the Post has learned.
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge John Zhuo Wang allowed 18-year-old Jaquan Gilliard to walk on supervised release at his arraignment Monday on felony charges including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Gilliard’s cousin was the back passenger in a stolen 2014 Toyota Camry — which the pair had planned to drive from Massachusetts to South Carolina — when they were caught on the West 101 on Sunday.St Street and Columbus Avenue, according to the criminal complaint against him.
A black semi-automatic pistol was found under the back seat floorboard, and Gilliard later claimed the weapon was his, prosecutors said.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said that although it was the teenager’s first arrest, prosecutors requested a $20,000 bail, citing the nature of the crime and the accused’s out-of-state ties, arguing that he was unlikely to return to court. own.”
But Wang rejected that request, granting Gilliard supervised release until her next court date on Sept. 2, a DA spokeswoman confirmed. Attorney information for Gilliard was not immediately available.
A police officer who has served for two decades slammed Wang’s decision, calling him “Judge Letemgo”.
“You really think he’s going to come back to New York for his gun case?” Police said.
Gilliard’s cousin, Harold Milton, 24, was arraigned separately Tuesday under a separate criminal court judge, who set bail at $3,500 or bond at $7,500, the DA’s office said.
That was still less than the $25,000 bail prosecutors had set at a hearing before Judge Soma Syed.
A spokeswoman for the Office of Court Administration said that while many factors go into the judge’s decision, under New York state law, “bail is only to ensure the defendant’s return to court. Nothing else.”
“Our criminal justice reform laws tend against pretrial incarceration and give narrow discretion to the prosecuting judge, even in violent felony cases, when they need to consider both the least restrictive form of pretrial detention and if a monetary amount is imposed—so that It is within the law. The defendant’s ability to fulfill it,” Lucian Chalfen said in a statement.
Gilliard and Milton, who are due back in court Sept. 2, are each charged with felony possession of a weapon and felony possession of stolen property.