Friday, January 8, 2016

Time to hold judges accountable for their decisions.

Judge ignored warnings, freed ‘slasher’

The career criminal charged with slashing a woman on her way to work in Chelsea was on the streets because a judge ­ignored warnings that he’s a “high risk” defendant and sprung him without bail on an earlier ­assault, The Post has learned.
Kari Bazemore is also suspected in yet another attack on a Bronx woman after Manhattan Judge Laurie Peterson set him free on Dec. 31.
“She screwed up big time,” a court source said of Peterson, who has a reputation among courthouse regulars for being smart and fair. “Was her head in the sand that day or something?
Bazemore, 41, who has more than 30 prior arrests, appeared before the Mayor de Blasio-appointed jurist on charges he slugged a woman in Greenwich Village as she walked with her husband on Dec. 30.
He was established as a “high risk” of flight — a key factor for judges in setting bail — by the New York City Criminal Justice Agency, which evaluates all defendants before their arraignments.
The nonprofit determined Bazemore was likely to skip his next court date and “not recommended for ROR [release on his own recognizance],” documents state.
Agency reps interviewed Bazemore and gave him an abysmal score of negative-6 on his CJA assessment — the lowest being negative-10, according to the report.
He lost points for not have a working phone, not knowing anyone who could appear at his arraignment and having prior warrants.
Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Ashley Foote — who asked for $1,000 bail — also said during his arraignment that he had “three misdemeanor convictions” and had failed to appear in court once before.
She told the judge that Bazemore admitted to cops that, “I pulled my hand out of my pocket and it landed on her face. She fell to the ground and I got scared.”
Bazemore’s Legal Aid Society lawyer, Claudia Emanuel, argued that he’s a self-employed “artist” who majored in fashion and “has community ties.”
Despite the red flags, Peterson released Bazemore without bail on the misdemeanor assault charges.
“Mr. Bazemore, you have to come to court starting February 1st,” Peterson told him. “You hear me? Make sure you come on that date.”
The next day, cops suspect that he slashed Bronx woman Nicole Pagliaro, 28, as she was about to walk into her apartment building, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
“She screwed up big time”
 - Court source on Peterson
A week later, on Wednesday, he allegedly sliced Amanda Morris, 24, in the face as she was walking to her job at a Whole Foods.
And Boyce said they are investigating him for other slashings in The Bronx.
“We’re looking back as we go forward,” he said.
Peterson refused to comment on the decision Thursday, saying she can’t discuss any cases.
Wearing a white jumpsuit, Bazemore walked out of the 13th Precinct station house without answering questions Thursday evening, and was awaiting arraignment on the new charges, including felony assault.
Pagliaro — the victim in the Jan. 1 attack — told cops a man ran up to her around 9 p.m. and said, “I’m not going to hurt you,” law enforcement sources said.
He then slashed the left side of her face with a sharp object.
“[He] didn’t rob me, didn’t go after me, didn’t try to cut me multiple times,” Pagliaro told DNAInfo. “Just one slash and then ran off.”
She identified Bazemore as her attacker after learning about his alleged assault on Morris.
“After reading this story from the Chelsea slashing, the way that he approached her, the way that he held the knife was exactly the same as my story,” she said.
Bazemore was arrested for the Chelsea slashing Wednesday night after a man spotted him in Midtown wearing the same red jacket he’d seen on a TV news report.
Video: Bazemore in police custody

Credit: Georgett Roberts
Additional reporting by Kevin Fasick, Amber Sutherland and Daniel Prendergast 

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