Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Freed by charitable bond fund, accused violent offenders commit more crimes, skip court without penalty

It’s hard to gripe with the general idea behind the Chicago Community Bond Fund (CCBF). The organization raises money to post bond for people who cannot afford to post their own while awaiting trial.

But there seems to be a problem.

One man who was freed by the fund while awaiting trial for attempted murder in North Center went on to be arrested four times in three months for battering and threatening people in Boystown. Despite being arrested repeatedly while on bond and even being ordered to serve two jail sentences for those crimes, his bond was never revoked.

And a transgender woman accused of robbing a man in Boystown in 2017 was freed by the fund in May 2017. Since then, she has repeatedly skipped court dates and she has been arrested three times. The bond fund was twice ordered to forfeit the $50,000 it risked on the woman’s freedom, only to have the money given back after filing motions with the court. Most recently, a litany of social service agencies virtually begged the court to let the woman go free on bond again. The judge agreed. And the woman is now AWOL. Again.

Allow us to introduce you to Emanuel Smith and Kenneth Manning.

Emanuel Smith and the scene of his June 28th arrest in Boystown. | CPD; Provided

Emanuel Smith

On June 15 last year, Emanuel Smith repeatedly stabbed a 19-year-old acquaintance during a fight outside a North Center social service agency at 4200 North Lincoln, prosecutors said. Police reported that the victim suffered multiple stab wounds to his chest and a slashed face.

Smith, then 18, was taken into custody at the scene and was charged with attempted first-degree murder; aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. Bail was set at $50,000.

Smith remained in jail for exactly one year, unable to post a $5,000 deposit to go free. On his first anniversary in jail, a CCBF representative put down the money to win Smith's release from jail. Smith showed his appreciation by launching a series of batteries and assaults in Boystown:
• On June 21st, he was charged with battery outside the Center on Halsted. Judge Anthony Calabrese would eventually sentence him to eight days time served.
• On June 28th, Smith was tazed by police as he threatened to attack another man with pepper-spray in the 3800 block of North Broadway. Charges were dropped when the victim failed to appear in court.
• On August 2nd, Smith was again arrested at the Center on Halsted. This time, he was charged with trespassing and assault after he allegedly told a Center employee, “the next time I see you I’m gonna pop your ass. I’m going to beat your ass.” The charges were dropped because neither the Center nor its employee showed up in court.
• On August 10th, Smith was arrested in the 3600 block of North Broadway for battery. Judge Anthony Calabrese sentenced him to 30 days in jail this time.
Despite all of those arrests and being sentenced twice to serve jail terms while free on bond for attempted murder, Smith’s bond was never revoked. Instead, he was allowed to enjoy the benefits of freedom while battering and threatening some of the very people who were supposed to be helping him

On Friday, Smith pleaded guilty to aggravated battery causing great bodily harm in the stabbing case. Judge Timothy Joyce sentenced him to three years. Attempted murder and three other felony charges were dropped in the plea deal. Smith will be paroled on Feb. 28th next year.

Kenneth Manning

Kenneth Manning | CPD
Kenneth Manning and an accomplice are charged with robbery, aggravated battery, and unlawful restraint for the May 17, 2017, mugging of a man on the Boystown bar strip.  A 25-year-old man told police that he was walking along Halsted when Manning and her accomplice pushed him into an alley and robbed him, prosecutors said.

A judge freed Manning on electronic monitoring two days later.

On July 12, 2017, the CCBF posted a $5,000 bond to get Manning freed from electronic monitoring. Five days later, Manning skipped court and went AWOL for the first time. An arrest warrant was issued.

At that point, the bond fund could have been ordered to forfeit Manning’s full $50,000 due to her failure to appear. But Manning showed up in a court a few days later and the judge vacated the bond forfeiture. He also allowed Manning to go free again on the original $5,000 deposit.

Three weeks later, Manning again failed to show up in court and she went AWOL again. Another arrest warrant was issued. When Manning remained missing a month later, the judge ordered CCBF to forfeit Manning’s full $50,000 bail.

Manning remained missing for months until Cook County Sheriff’s deputies rounded her up on January 5th. But the bond fund wasn’t done doing good deeds for Kenneth Manning.

On March 20th, the fund went before Manning’s judge with a stack of letters from social service agencies that virtually begged him to rerelease Manning. The CCBF pleaded to get their $50,000 back.

If allowed to post bond, Manning would live at a women’s halfway home for the duration of the case, Manning's lawyer promised.

Staff members of the Broadway Youth Center, former staff members of the Center on Halsted, a counselor at Youth Empowerment Performance Project, and others wrote letters of support for Manning.

“I believe in Kenneth completely,” one supporter wrote. “She is a responsible, intelligent student…welcome back in our GED program at any time,” said another. A third offered to remind Manning of court dates and provide her with transportation. A fourth person also promised to remind Manning of her court dates and to provide transportation for court “were she be able to bail out” again.

“After spending over two months in [the Cook County Jail], Ms. Manning understands the very serious consequences of missing court,” her attorney told the court. “This case is [her] highest priority in her life and she is dedicated to attending all court dates.”

Given the community outpouring, Judge William Hooks vacated his $50,000 bond forfeiture order and again released Manning on the original $5,000 that the CCBF put down.

Almost exactly three months later, on June 20th, Manning missed her court date. She had an excuse this time: She had been arrested a couple of days earlier and charged with stealing hair extensions in Uptown. The charges were later dropped.

On July 25th, Manning was arrested on a warrant. She was freed again. On August 27th, she was arrested for criminal damage to property on the far South Side and was released on a recognizance bond.

Then, on September 20th, she failed to show up in court again. She’s gone AWOL. The judge has scheduled a hearing to decide if he will order the CCBF to lose its full $50,000 commitment one more time.

There's no word about what happened to the promises that Manning would be living in a halfway house or the multiple promises of providing court reminders and transportation to court. We may hear about those things the next time the bond fund asks for its money back.
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