Queens woman fights to stop early jail release for thief who stole her house, calls on pols to end the practice

A 73-year-old woman whose Queens house was stolen by a fraudster in 2014 has mounted a campaign to upend the longstanding practice of releasing Rikers inmates early for good behavior. Darrell Beatty, 52, used a phony deed to steal Jennifer Merin’s Laurelton home out from under her. Last September, Queens Supreme Court Judge Michael Aloise sentenced Beatty to a year in jail for the theft. Merin expected him to serve the full year. During the sentencing, Aloise even said: “I’m going to sentence you to one year. And I will recommend that he does every single day of it.” Aloise added that if Beatty came up for early release, Merin would be given an opportunity to oppose it. However, he is now scheduled for release from Rikers Island on April 30 for good behavior — and Merin was not given a chance to argue against it. She was also unaware that Beatty could be released before his full term was up. “I was promised that I would be notified if he was scheduled for early release, and given an opportunity to speak before the decision was made,” Merin told the Daily News. “I only found out by chance. Beatty not shanking someone in jail has no restorative value to what he did in his crime. He’s being told by being let out early that crime pays.” Merin has decided to challenge Beatty’s release and has been peppering city officials with questions about the longstanding practice in the justice system. “The incentive to behave well should be that the convict gets out at the end of the sentence — because the sentence was deemed punishment commensurate with the crime,” she said. “Good behavior while in custody does not alter the nature of the crime that is being punished, nor does it ameliorate the impact of that crime on the victim. If the convict doesn't behave well while in custody, the infraction should be Continue Reading

It’s An ‘Outrage’: Sheriff Rips Stanford Swimmer’s Short Sentence After Jail Release

Brock Turner Out of Jail After Serving 3 Months for Stanford Univ. Rape Fox News' Chris Wallace Chosen as Presidential Debate Moderator Kaepernick Kneels for National Anthem to Continue Protest The former Stanford University swimming star convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman was released from jail, Dagen McDowell reported.Brock Turner was released this morning after three months behind bars—half of his six month sentence.Many have said his sentence was too lenient in the first place, McDowell said on Outnumbered.“[It’s an] outrage! It was a rape conviction. He should not have done time in our jail. He should have been in state prison,” Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith told reporters.“It should’ve been a state prison sentence. It’s a felony; it’s rape. Six months when you only do three is not correct,” Smith said.Judge Aaron Persky, citing extraordinary circumstances—including Turner’s clean record beforehand—led him to award the short sentence.There is a movement to have Persky recalled, McDowell said.What do you think? Watch the panel’s full discussion and let us know in the comments. Court Docs: Stanford Rapist Sent Explicit Picture of Victim to Friends Man Who Helped Stop Stanford Rape: Turner Did Not Seem Too Drunk Continue Reading

Chris Brown praised by judge for good probation report since June jail release

A judge says Chris Brown has been doing well and following his probation rules since his release from jail in June. The Grammy-winning R&B singer appeared in a Los Angeles court Wednesday for a progress report. Judge James Brandlin reduced Brown's drug test requirement from three times to twice a week and said he's been in compliance with his probation officer and cooperating with his therapist. The probation department asked that his community labor requirement be bumped from three days a week to four, but Brandlin denied the request. Brown was jailed from mid-March until early June for violating his probation by getting into an altercation outside a Washington, D.C., hotel last year. He was on probation after he attacked pop singer Rihanna, his then-girlfriend, before the 2009 Grammy Awards. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO.  Continue Reading

Chris Brown’s on-off girlfriend Karrueche Tran throws singer’s homecoming party post-jail release

Karrueche Tran's man is home! The model shared photos on Instagram from on-again-off-again boyfriend Chris Brown's homecoming fiesta after he was released from jail June 2. In one snapshot, the pair can be seen kissing as she gently holds his face. Another shows Tran, 26, smiling as she stands under a sign that reads, "Welcome Home CB!" Brown's party took place at the private home of Phil Maloof, brother of former "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Adrienne Maloof, in Los Angeles on June 5, reports Hollywood Life. Besides Tran, guests also included Amber Rose, T-Pain and Big Sean, as well as bevy of unnamed beauties, some who were reportedly porn stars. "He was kissing her and very touchy feely," a source said of Brown and Tran. "He pulled her onto his lap at one point, he looked really happy to be with her." The bash also observed the singer's May 5 birthday since he was locked up at the time. "HAPPY BDAY HAPPY HOMECOMING!!!" celeb stylist EJ King wrote on Instagram along with a video of partygoers singing "Happy Birthday" as Brown waited to blow out the candles on his cake. "This made my day and I just really want to express how much I love everybody in here and especially my girl Karrueche who's just my everything," Brown said at the party, according to the gossip site. "I love you babe, so much, I love you." The 25-year-old "Look at Me Now" singer spent 80 days in a Los Angeles jail for violating probation - which stemmed from his 2009 assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna - when he got into an altercation in Washington in October. Including his time spent in rehab, Brown served a total of 108 days, a shorter stint than the original 131-day sentence handed down May 9. "Humbled and blessed," he tweeted shortly after his release. "Back to the music and the fans … thank you GOD." Brown now awaits trial for the Washington incident, slated to begin later this year. ON A MOBILE DEVICE? Continue Reading

Florida jail releases names of 2 inmates killed in explosion that leveled building

Officials have released the names of two Escambia County Jail inmates killed in an apparent gas explosion. The county said Friday that 45-year-old David Paul Weinstein and 54-year-old Robert Earl Simmons were killed when the explosion ripped through the jail late Wednesday. Court records show Weinstein faced fraud and theft charges, while Simmons faced animal abuse charges. The state fire marshal and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the cause of the blast. The jail's basement was flooded with more than 2 feet of water before the explosion. Employees and 600 inmates evacuated the jail amid the chaos. Officials say more than 180 inmates were treated and released from local hospitals. Two inmates and a jail employee were hospitalized with more serious injuries.   . Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Justin Bieber compares himself to Michael Jackson in Instagram photo after jail release

Does Justin Bieber think he’s a big as the King of Pop? The Canadian teen posted a photo on Instagram Friday that showed him waving to fans leaving a Miami jail the previous day, cropped side-by-side to a similar photo of the late Michael Jackson doing the same thing during his 2004 court case. “What more can they say,” the 19-year-old captioned the pic, along with an emoji of a crown. The comparison has some merit, in that both pop stars have wildly enthusiastic fans and endured run-ins with the law. However, some would argue that’s where the similarities end. The photo of Jackson dates back to 2004, after the singer pled not guilty to felony charges of child molestation. After the plea, the “Bad” singer emerged from the courtroom and stood on top of his SUV, giving the peace sign to the cheers of fans who had gathered to support him. Bieber experienced a similar moment after he was released from the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami Thursday, after his arrest for driving under the influence and drag racing in a yellow Lamborghini. After his release, Bieber sat atop his vehicle and waved to fans and photographers. The “Believe” singer was charged with DUI and released on a $2,500 bond. Time will tell if Bieber’s story will have a similar ending to the King of Pop. Jackson was found not guilty of all charges in 2005, while Bieber seems to be refusing to acknowledge his personal and legal troubles. He reportedly refused to go to rehab at the behest of his manager Scooter Braun. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Justin Bieber drag race captured on surveillance video as singer refuses to board private jet, remain in Miami after jail release

Bieber won the race, but his team isn’t celebrating. New surveillance video, obtained by WFOR CBS Miami, showing the immediate aftermath of Justin Bieber’s wild ride down a sleepy Miami street shows the 19-year-old “Baby” singer — who Friday compared himself to Michael Jackson — leading the pack in a rented yellow Lamborghini. Ferrari driver and fellow arrestee Khalil Sharieff, 19, also appears in the short clip, flanked by a pair of black Cadillac Escalades. A single Miami Beach Police cruiser brings up the rear, suggesting it was shot just seconds before Bieber’s bust heard ’round the world. According to cops, the pint-sized pop phenom was hopped up on a combination of pot, anti-depressants and beer while he was behind the wheel. Police said he cursed out his arresting officer with multiple F-bombs. The Biebs later blew a 0.014 at the Miami Beach Police station, officials said. The hard-partying heartthrob was defiant after his release from jail, brushing off new plans to get him help. He was holed up in his Miami party pad with father, Jeremy, 38; Sharieff; and his shotgun sweetie, Chantel Jeffries, 21, a bathing suit model once charged with assault with a deadly weapon. He likened himself to the King of Pop on Instagram, posting side-by-side images of himself and Michael Jackson perched atop vehicles waving to fans amid pending criminal cases. “What more can they say,” he wrote, ending the caption with a cartoon image of a crown. Hours later, in his first post-arrest tweet, he thanked his fans. “You are all worthy no matter what anyone says,” he wrote. “Be strong. God is with us all. My Beliebers changed my life. I will forever be grateful.” Sources said Bieber’s camp was planning to send a private jet to get the Canadian from Miami late Thursday. He refused, instead opting “to take the next few days Continue Reading

Man found dead in creek had ditched a jail release program

Three days before a Louisville man was found dead Monday in a Valley Station creek, he had ditched a temporary release program at a Louisville Metro Corrections facility, jail officials confirmed Tuesday.Authorities do not suspect foul play after Sean W. Shoemaker, 21, was pronounced dead just before 5 p.m. Monday. A passerby had spotted him just below the surface of the creek near a cluster of homes in the 5000 block of Woodbridge Lake Boulevard, Deputy Coroner Eddie Robinson said in a statement.Shoemaker was placed at Louisville Metro Department of Corrections Community Corrections Center on Feb. 14, according to Metro Corrections spokesman Steve Durham. On Feb. 22, by court order, he was authorized for temporary releases to look for work. Two days later, on Friday, Feb. 24, he didn't return at the end of the day."At approximately 4:00 p.m., inmate Shoemaker was classified as AWOL and at that time Corrections officials applied for an Escape Warrant based on Inmate Shoemaker’s failure to return to custody within the time allotted after his authorized departure," Durham wrote in an email.An autopsy was performed on Monday and the cause of death is pending additional results. No lethal injuries were found at the time of the autopsy, according to the coroner.Louisville Metro Police spokesman Dwight Mitchell said Tuesday morning that investigators did not see any obvious signs of foul play. However, they are waiting for the coroner before making any official decisions about his manner of death.A Louisville Metro Police Dive Team and the Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Department extracted the body from underneath a footbridge that spans the creek. It is about a 9-foot drop from the bridge to the creek.Neighbor Robin Siegwald said her friend made the initial 911 call after a homeless man knocked on her friend's door and said he had found the body. She called the death "devastating."Mitchell said that the incident is considered a "death investigation." Continue Reading

No early jail release for ex-Giants star Plaxico Burress; work release request denied

Plaxico Burress is still paying for his coverup.Prison officials refused Thursday to release him early, saying he should have called cops after accidentally shooting himself with an illegal handgun.The ex-Super Bowl hero made a request for work release just a few months into his two-year sentence - but he'll have to wait until July to reapply."At no time did you report this incident to local law enforcement," the state Department of Correctional Services ruled."As such ... you must serve a greater portion of your sentence prior to consideration for potential participation in the temporary release program."Prosecutors fired off a blistering letter opposing Burress' request, saying state officials shouldn't feel "sympathy for a man who fell so far, so fast."They cited an "irresponsible" arsenal found in his Totowa, N.J., home: a 9-mm. Sig Sauer, a .30-caliber rifle and boxes of ammo, including illegal hollow-point bullets.Burress, 32, was carrying an unlicensed gun in the Latin Quarter club in November 2008 when he shot himself in the right thigh.He checked into the hospital under an assumed name. Cops learned about the shooting several hours later.He's in protective custody at the Oneida Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison in upstate Rome. With good behavior, he could be freed by spring 2011.His lawyer declined to comment. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Roger Clemens’ old gal pal Mindy McCready jailed, released

Roger Clemens' former girlfriend, country singer Mindy McCready, turned herself in to Tennessee cops to face charges she violated her probation, authorities said.McCready was supposed to do 200 hours of community service for falsifying a prescription for the painkiller OxyContin while on probation for a 2004 drug charge. Authorities say she lied about how much time she put in. McCready surrendered Monday, spent a couple of hours in a Franklin, Tenn., jail, then posted $5,000 bail and was released. The FBI questioned her last month in its investigation into whether the former Yankees pitcher lied to a congressional committee. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading