Arrest, Release, Repeat
You know those directions on your bottle of shampoo that tell you to “lather, rinse, repeat”? Similar instructions can be found all over our criminal justice system. “Arrest, Release, Repeat” should be on every criminal history, booking report, incident report and case file.
Some of our regular readers might remember Timothy Montez Wright, most recently of 5051 Delta Street in North Charleston’s Russeldale neighborhood. We first wrote about Montez in January of 2014 when he was arrested for storing a half pound of cocaine in a Smith Street apartment. At the time of his arrest Wright was free on bond on attempted murder charges from 2013. That bond totaled $150,000. In February of 2013 Wright was at a home on Greenhill Road when he pistol whipped another fellow and shot him twice. Presumably over a drug debt.
The 9th Circuit Solicitor and Chief Mullen of CPD used Wright’s case to team up and pitch then Senate Bill 19 which they claimed would revise bond laws and keep repeat offenders like Wright in jail pending trial. That bill was passed into law, but has proven to be largely ineffective. Why? Because the law still leaves the decision of whether or not to grant bond to a serial offender up to a circuit court judge. And we all know how worthless some of our circuit court judges are.
Wright was arrested yet again on May 14th by CPD on charges of Trafficking Cocaine, Possession of Cocaine 1st Offense (really?) and three counts of Unlawful Possession of a Pistol/Stolen Pistol. He was given a total bond of $200,000 on the cocaine possession and gun charges. A circuit court judge has to set bond on the trafficking charge.
First, let’s look at the charges still pending in the 9th Circuit.
Attempted Murder - Pending. Wright was free on a $150,000 bond when arrested in January of 2014. He was still free on that bond when arrested on May 14th.
To her credit the 9th Circuit Solicitor tried to get judges to revoke Wright’s bonds in February of 2014 and again in September of 2014. Both attempts were denied by a circuit court judge. How’s that new bond law working out for you?
In January of 2014 Wright was charged with Trafficking Cocaine and PWID Cocaine Near a School. He was released from jail on a total bond of $100,000.
To her credit, the 9th Circuit Solicitor tried to have those bonds revoked in October of 2014, but the request was denied by a circuit court judge.
While free on all of the above charges Wright was arrested again in February of 2014 and charged with PWID Marijuana. He was released on a $100,000 personal recognizance bond. Seriously. You just have to laugh at this stuff. If you don’t, it will drive you nuts. Just think if you were one of the cops continually putting this guy (and hundreds of others like him) in jail time and time again only to see him on the street running his drug distribution business again a day or two later.
To her credit the 9th Circuit Solicitor attempted to have the bond on these charges revoked in August of 2014. A circuit court judge denied that request and left Wright on the street.
While free on all of the above pending charges Wright as arrested again in August of 2014 and charged with Possession of Cocaine. He was given a $10,000 bond on that charge.
Now Wright is charged with five more serious crimes. We have no doubt a circuit court judge will also grant him bond on the trafficking charge. That must be why no one bothered to add the charge of Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime. Why bother?
Let us give you a refresher on the remainder of Wright’s criminal history.
PWID Crack Cocaine - Plead guilty. Sentenced by Judge John Breeden to 12 years.
PWID Crack Cocaine Near a School - Dismissed by the 9th Circuit Solicitor.
Resisting Arrest - Dismissed by the 9th Circuit Solicitor.
Murder - Reduced to Voluntary Manslaughter by the 9th Circuit Solicitor. Sentenced to 4 years, concurrent with the sentence above.
Possession of a Weapon During a Violent Crime - Dismissed by the 9th Circuit Solicitor.
Note: These charges were rolled into a plea deal with charges from 2004 for crimes committed while Wright was free on bond.
PWID Crack Cocaine - Plead guilty. Sentenced to 12 years, concurrent, of course.
PWID Crack Near a School - Plead guilty. Sentenced to 10 years, concurrent, of course.
PWID Crack Cocaine - Plead guilty. Sentenced to 12 years, concurrent.
PWID Crack Near a School - Dismissed by the 9th Circuit Solicitor.
Assault & Battery With Intent to Kill - Dismissed by the 9th Circuit Solicitor.
Seven years after being sentenced to 12 years we hear from Wright again.
1st Degree Burglary - Dismissed at preliminary hearing. No reason given.
In the past year Wright has also been arrested on charges of DUI, DUS, and Open Container.
Just another repeat violent offender freely running the streets of the Lowcountry doing whatever the hell he wants to do and not the least bit concerned about our ineffectual and impotent criminal justice system. Is it any wonder innocents are now dying in our streets?
The criminal activities of Timothy Montez Wright brings our 9th Circuit gun charge tally to:
143 charges 76 dismissed 26 guilty pleas 41 pending