This morning Ed wrote about the way the Waukesha massacre seems to have dropped off the national media’s radar rather quickly. You may recall that one of the big questions about the story was why Darrell Brooks was out on $1,000 bail after he’d previously attacked his girlfriend and run her over with a car (the same car he drove through the Christmas parade).
The excuse given by progressive DA John Chisolm was that Brooks’ “inappropriately low” bail and his office was investigating why it happened. The NY Times backed Chisolm’s excuse, claiming the low bail amount was a mistake made by an “inexperienced junior prosecutor.” At the time I suggested this explanation didn’t make a lot of sense.
It may be true in some sense that letting Brooks out on $1,000 bail was a mistake that shouldn’t have happened and not dictated directly by bail reform guidelines. But you also have to ask ‘Would this have happened if not for bail reform?‘ In other words, if Brooks’ case had been handled under a DA who wasn’t pushing to keep as many people out of jail as possible, would this same mistake still have been made? I don’t think so.
If the low bail for Brooks that put him back on the street just prior to the parade massacre was really a mistake, then there shouldn’t be any other cases like this one in Chisolm’s county. But that’s not the case. In fact, there have been a number of other violent crimes since the parade attack that strongly suggest the release of Darrell Brooks on bail wasn’t an accident but was part of a pattern.
Just three days after the Waukesha Parade attack, a 33-year-old man named Chad Marcinkiewicz was arrested on suspicion of stabbing a man to death…while out on bail for a previous stabbing this summer that multiple law enforcement sources say left a man seriously injured. In fact, the morning of the murder, Marcinkiewicz was in court for a preliminary hearing on charges of recklessly endangering safety in connection with that stabbing.
The following day, 20-year-old Donta L. Roberts was arrested in the shooting death of Devonta Lusk while out on signature bond for pointing a gun at someone in the summer of 2020. Roberts is now charged with Lusk’s murder as well as several counts of bail jumping.
And just yesterday, a 23-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of killing a 41-year-old man by repeatedly running him over with her car. The woman, who is not being identified because she has not yet been criminally charged, allegedly ran over the victim so many times that a 911 caller “saw a body part come off the victim.”
The woman attacker in the SUV murder was identified Monday as Lydia Carmona-Cartagena. She told police she met the victim, Chad Wilson, on Facebook and spent nearly 24 hours with him, drinking and doing drugs. After their night together, he agreed to drive her home but they got into some kind of fight and he told her to get out of his truck. In response, she stabbed him and then got in his vehicle and ran him over repeatedly:
She wasn’t happy with where he chose to let her out. She pulled out a knife and stabbed Wilson three times in the legs and abdomen. He was able to get the knife away while fighting back.
Carmona-Cartagena told police she took Wilson’s keys and got back in the car. She attempted to run him over, but missed a couple of times.
Police said video surveillance from a nearby church shows Carmona-Cartagena striking Wilson five times with a car. She told police he was still moving after she ran him over the first time, so she did it again to “make sure he was dead.”
Another report says Carmona-Cartagena stood over Wilson after running him over:
Later the video showed the woman getting out of the SUV and bending over the man. She then drives off, pulls into her home and then police approach, the complaint states…
“She knew that she had numerous opportunities to just drive away, but she thought he was a gang member and had access to guns and would come and retaliate,” the complaint states.
Carmona-Cartagena should have been in jail instead of on the street. Just like Darrell Brooks, she had recently been arrested for a violent attack on her partner. In fact, she was arrested for attacking her boyfriend twice but in both cases she was not prosecuted:
On June 10th, she was arrested for substantial battery-domestic violence and strangulation after attacking her boyfriend. Assistant District Attorney Elaine Fehrs declined to prosecute; a move called a “no process.”
Exactly four months later, on October 10th, the woman was arrested again for battery-domestic violence and two counts of strangulation for allegedly attacking both her boyfriend and her father. Her case was again “no processed,” this time by Assistant District Attorney Claire Zyber.
Twice in the past six months, the woman was released without facing a single criminal count even though Milwaukee Police recommended serious domestic violence-related charges.
Were these also mistakes by DA Chisolm’s office? At a certain point it becomes clear that this is just how things operate in Milwaukee County under DA Chisolm. His office will keep setting you free after you violently attack someone until you actually commit murder. Only then will his office take it seriously.
Here’s a local news report on this story.