NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – During a detention hearing for Muhammad Syed, the man accused of murdering Muslim men, prosecutors pointed out glaring issues in the pretrial services system. It’s nothing new, people, charged with a crime being released under conditions intended to keep the community safe.

But, as we’ve seen time and time again, so many of those offenders go on to break the rules by leaving the area they’re required to stay in. Like Justin Hansen, the man convicted of beating then 17-year-old Cibola High School student Brittani Marcel with a shovel. You’ll remember, Hansen was seen at an Isotopes game while on an ankle monitor.


Story continues below:


Then there was accused serial burglar Jesse Mascareno Haidle. The court released him from custody on an ankle monitor, after being charged in three home burglaries. A short time later, he was picked up again for breaking into cars.

“There’s not some CSI person behind all of these screens watching some person who are on pretrial services,” said John Duran, the Deputy District Attorney, for Bernalillo County. That was only one of the issues Duran mentioned during Muhammed Syed’s detention hearing on August 17th, calling Mason Dixon, the Supervisor of Pretrial Services to the stand.

On top of that, if an offender breaks their conditions and pretrial services are alerted, it takes time to issue a warrant and inform police. “A person goes out and it is a matter of minutes, seconds sometimes to commit a crime,” he said.

Duran says pretrial services shouldn’t be so heavily relied upon, especially for violent offenders, or those addicted to drugs. He says they will continue to use this tactic in the future, calling pretrial services to the stand if necessary, to prove their point that conditions will not keep the community safe from certain offenders, like Muhammad Syed.

Another problem in the system, Duran says, is how they conduct drug testing. There are currently more than 9-hundred people on pretrial services in Bernalillo County, of those only about fifty are being drug tested.