A bit of pot and a pipe in Burnett County led to two charges of felony bail jumping with six-year maximums
To study bail jumping in Wisconsin, WJI and the Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas law firm are looking county by county at 2021 bail-jumping charges. Which counties are charging bail jumping the most? Who are some of the defendants? What happens to those cases? We'll report the statistics from individual counties and tell you the stories from randomly chosen cases.
Total number of cases with bail-jumping charges: 131*
Total number of misdemeanor and felony cases: 598
Percent of misdemeanor and felony cases that include bail-jumping charges: 22%
Total number of felony cases with bail-jumping charges: 105**
Total number of all felony cases: 321
Percent of felony cases that include bail-jumping charges: 33%
Total number of misdemeanor cases with bail-jumping charges: 26
Total number of all misdemeanor cases: 277
Percent of misdemeanor cases that include bail-jumping charges: 9%
Largest number of bail-jumping charges issued in a single case: 8
Number of felony bail-jumping charges issued: 217
Number of misdemeanor bail-jumping charges issued: 77
* Excludes one criminal traffic misdemeanor case that included bail-jumping charges. Criminal traffic charges are not included in this analysis.
**Felony cases can include felony or misdemeanor bail-jumping charges or both; misdemeanor cases can include only misdemeanor bail-jumping charges. Case counts reported as of January 2022.
Reggie called the Veterans Administration to report that his grandfather was in a great deal of pain and could not get around, prompting the doctor to send the grandfather's hydrocodone prescription in the mail.
Reggie (not his real name), then 20, promptly stole the prescription from the mailbox. He took some prednisone from the house, too.
The grandfather learned about the hydrocodone scam the next time he visited his doctor. Reggie purportedly returned some of the drug, but what he returned turned out to be the prednisone, which exposed that theft as well.
"As (Reggie) was mostly honest with me I advised him that I would not be arresting him today but the case would be going to the District Attorney for charging," Burnett County Chief Deputy Josh Henry wrote, adding "(Reggie) was advised to seek some AODA counseling."
Reggie was charged in November, 2019, with identity theft for financial gain, a felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine; and two counts of misdemeanor theft, each punishable by up to nine months in jail and a $10,000 fine.
Burnett County Judge Melissa R. Mogen set a $500 signature bond. Reggie was released.
More than a year later, in January, 2021, Reggie was caught driving with 0.11 ounces of cannabis and a pipe in his car.
Reggie told the arresting deputy he had taken medication used to treat seizures, panic disorder, and anxiety, according to the criminal complaint. Reggie also said he "gets nervous" and has "panic attacks" when he is pulled over.
He was charged with two misdemeanors: possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. They carried a combined maximum penalty of 7 months in jail and $1,500 in fines.
The prosecutor also threw in two counts of felony bail jumping. Although Reggie violated the bond conditions in just one case, the DA's office charged him with two counts of felony bail jumping because he allegedly violated his bond by having the cannabis and by having the pipe. He faced an additional 12 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. Reggie was represented by the State Public Defender's office, an indication of poverty.
Mogen continued Reggie's bond.
In April, 2021, Reggie settled both cases by pleading guilty to two counts of misdemeanor theft and one count of misdemeanor bail jumping.
Mogen sentenced him to two years of probation and made his record eligible for expunction.
Our methodology: WJI and Mastantuono Coffee & Thomas determined the number of felony and misdemeanor bail-jumping cases and charges in each county through court data. The total number of felony and misdemeanor cases filed in a county was obtained through the state's online court system. Cases selected for the "case file" section are chosen randomly through a random number-generator web site. The intent of the project is to show a variety of bail-jumping cases.
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