A 29-year-old New York man facing 42 criminal charges for alleged vandalism in an 11-day hate-crime spree is now on supervised release.
New York’s controversial bail reform laws prompted Judge Tara Collins in Bronx Criminal Court to order the release of Jordan Burnette, who was arrested on various charges for his alleged role in attacks on nine Jewish community sites over an 11-day period. Collins struck down a previous decision by Judge Louis Nock who ordered that Burnette be held in lieu of $20,000
Burnette was free on supervised released with no bail as of Sunday night, according to Patrice O’Shaughnessy, spokeswoman for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, the New York Post reported.
“Given the number of attacks, we probably would have asked for substantial bail before January of 2020,” Assistant District Attorney Theresa Gottlieb reportedly told Nock on Sunday when he defied prosecutors who contended that none of Burnette’s extensive crimes required that he be held on bail under the state’s reformed laws.
(Video: CBS New York)
“The legislature did not include hate crimes in its revision of bail reform and, under the law as it exists today, this is not eligible. We will not violate the law,” Gottlieb added.
Nock, however, disagreed and claimed that Burnette could be charged with a violent felony for the “shattering glass” in his attacks on Jewish synagogues in the area. He made the call to set Burnette’s bail before Judge Collins struck it down late Sunday night.
“I’ve taken a very close look at the law,” the judge had reportedly said. “Given the gravity and the number of charges he’s facing, this court is inclined to set bail.”
“Your honor, according to the bail law, none of the charges in this case apply,” Burnette’s attorney Morgan Everhart had reportedly told the judge. “These are all nonviolent charges.”
“I appreciate your effort. I hope I am correct,” Nock had responded.
Burnette’s alleged crime spree is extensive. He is believed to have smashed multiple doors, windows and car windows by throwing rocks and a metal garbage can through them. He is also accused of having stolen prayer books before covering them in hand sanitizer and dumping them in the woods, according to the New York Post.
He was caught Saturday night with a bicycle allegedly from the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel. Video surveillance and witness statements from the other locations further incriminated Burnette. According to ABC News, “police say Burnette became uncooperative and refused to provide proper identification.”
— CSS – Community Security Service (@TheCSSorg) May 2, 2021
Deputy inspector Jessica Corey of the New York Police Department said in a statement that Burnette’s actions constitute an anti-semitic hate crime, “numerous charges related to the many acts of vandalism as hate crimes that have taken place in this community.”
Watch as Deputy Inspector Corey of @NYPDHateCrimes update the media on the arrest of an individual sought in a hate crimes criminal mischief pattern in the confines of the @NYPD50Pct pic.twitter.com/hm2A9vR20z
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) May 1, 2021
It was not clear why Collins made the decision to call Burnette back into court on Sunday night or why it was decided release him. He was placed into supervised release and none of the charges were dropped.
Burnette is still scheduled to appear in court on Friday, May 7th.