The U.S. Attorney's office yesterday successfully invoked for the first time a week-old provision designed to crack down on repeat offenders by making it more difficult for them to be released before trial.
D.C. Superior Court Judge Peter H. Wolf, acting on a request by assistant U.S. Attorney David Krakoff, ordered Rinaldo Jones, 18, of 1009 O St. NW, held in jail in lieu of $6,500 bond for an armed robbery charge earlier this year and a house burglary last month.
Jones had been living in a juvenile halfway house, and had been allowed to remain there pending trial on the armed robbery charge, an assault charge and a juvenile offense.
After Jones was arrested Tuesday for the June 18 burglary of a home on Riggs Place NW, the U.S. Attorney's office decided to keep him in jail for three days without bond--as the new law now allows--and then ask that his earlier release to the halfway house be reviewed by the court.
In a hearing yesterday, Wolf said that Jones has had 15 arrests since he was ten years old, and, given his pending juvenile case and now three adult cases, Jones might have a "propensity to flee."
Before the new provisions went into effect, judges were empowered to set money bonds when there was a likelihood that a defendant might flee before trial.
That is still the case under the new law, but the new statute provides a procedure, if requested by prosecutors, for automatic judicial review, within three days of a new arrest, of the terms under which a defendant had been released on an earlier charge.
The new measure, along with several others, was approved by the City Council last week after Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, chairman of the subcommittee that holds the District's purse strings, had urged a crackdown on repeat offenders.