Repeat offender given second chance on the run again

Repeat offender let out of jail

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte man with a previous arrest history was given a second chance to get out of jail without bond after he was arrested again in early February on gun charges. Officials say Jakieran Harris took advantage of that freedom, and decided not to show up for his court appearance.

There is now a warrant for Harris' arrest. He's been on the run for ten days.

Court watchers told WBTV they were afraid of this outcome.

"The red flags were there on this individual," said Marcus Philemon of CharMeck Court Watch. "He's cut off his electronic monitor in the past. He has no regard for the law. He has no regard for his release terms."

After Charlotte Mecklenburg Police arrested Harris on February 1, for gun charges, a Mecklenburg County Judge referred Harris to PreTrial Services. It's a county program that relies on supervision to make sure defendants appear in court.

But the 20 year old failed to appear in court on February 23. No one has been able to find him.

PreTrial Services said they assessed Harris's risk of flight and danger to community. They thought supervision would be enough to keep Harris in line.

"Mr Harris didn't do, didn't hold up his end of the bargain and the process worked and a warrant for his arrest has been issued and he's been revoked from the program," said Jessica Ireland of PreTrial Services. "The process worked because he was given a chance. He had a contract that outlined his conditions of release and he didn't follow them."

Harris has been arrested several times for various charges including guns and interfering with an electronic monitor. In early February, court watchers said they were prepared to go to court to monitor his case when they realized there was no bond hearing because Harris was already out of jail.

"It's anger, because I'm tired of - not only as an organization but as a citizen - tired of being lied to" Philemon said.

Court watchers were upset because  Harris got out of jail without posting bond.

At his first court appearance in early February, a judge referred Harris to PreTrial Services.

"The biggest thing we have a problem with is community safety," Philemon said. "Taking community safety into effect before they release an individual."

Jail records show that Harris has been arrested 10 times since 2013. The charges include breaking and entering, burglary, gun charges, possession of stolen goods, resisting public officer, felony larceny, felony conspiracy, interfering with an electronic monitor and probation violation.

Despite Harris' criminal history, probation violation, and cutting off an electronic monitor, Pretrial Services concluded he could go home but must check in with case managers for supervision.

"That risk assessment will take into account risk of flight and danger to the community posed by each defendant," said Jessica Ireland, Program Manager for PreTrial Services.

Ireland said after defendants are referred to the program, case managers do an assessment and an interview to determine if "they meet our program eligibility and requirements."

Court watchers are asking one question: what about public safety?

"I understand that some may feel that, but again the risk assessment that we use looks at risk of flight and danger to community posed by the defendant, so that was certainly taken into account" said Ireland.

Philemon said he doesn't get it.

"He's had his hands on guns on more than one occasion, been arrested for that," Philemon said. "And two, when he's been given post supervision release in the past, he's not been able to abide by post supervision."

Ireland said Harris was in full compliance prior to missing his court appearance.

Pretrial Services says the program has approximately 280 clients and four case managers.

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