For the second time this month, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office has asked the Supreme Judicial Court to keep a man awaiting trial on a violent crime locked up rather than releasing him to home confinement due to coronavirus concerns - concerns the DA's office says is now moot because he's already tested positive for the virus.
This time, the DA's office is objecting to a ruling by Suffolk Superior Court Judge Beverly Cannone to rescind Ray Wallace's $1-million bail and let him go free pending his trial on charges he shot a Middlesex County jail guard in the leg in a failed escape attempt while undergoing treatment at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in 2013.
Beside the fact he is now Covid-19 positive, Wallace has a 25-page criminal record and is too dangerous to free, according to a statement by DA Rachael Rollins:
My office vehemently opposed any bail reduction for Mr. Wallace. How much clearer can it be that this individual poses a flight risk? Above and beyond that failed escape attempt and shooting a member of law enforcement, Mr. Wallace has a significant criminal history. Accordingly, he was held on a $1 million cash bail due to the serious and violent nature of the pending allegations, his criminal history, and the significant flight risk he posed. The Court’s reduction of Mr. Wallace’s $1 million dollar cash bail to the non-cash bail of personal recognizance and not imposing a single condition of release is outrageous. ...
Mr. Wallace deserves to receive medical treatment for his underlying medical conditions. But it is his own behavior - shooting a Deputy Sheriff in an attempt to escape custody while receiving treatment at a hospital - that makes him far too dangerous to return to the community to receive his medical care. He must receive that care while in custody.
Cannone's order freeing him does not take effect for 11 days. The Globe reports her ruling is based on his medical record, which includes injuries suffered in the escape attempt and which another judge had ruled made it unlikely he would ever be able to stand trial.
Earlier this month, an SJC justice denied Rollins's request to return William Utley to jail while he awaits trial on charges he stabbed Andew Young to death during an argument outside a Grove Hall bar in 2018. Utley's lawyer successfully argued that jail during the current pandemic is no place for a man undergoing cancer treatment.