A New York judge who has a reputation for being lenient with offenders has come under fire for reportedly giving a gangbanger a pass in an attempted murder case, allowing him to allegedly open fire this week near a school, injuring two teenagers.
Judge Matthew Sciarrino of the Brooklyn Supreme Court rejected the prosecution’s motion to keep career criminal Ousmane Diallo in custody without bail in connection with a shooting that occurred in Crown Heights in August and instead set bail in the case.
Diallo, 21, was able to post the $500,000 bond, which means he was free to roam the streets on Tuesday when he is accused of killing two teenagers in Sunset Park in what police are calling a gang-related incident.
Last week, a source told The Post that the issue’s crux was that the man shouldn’t have been fired.
Another person with knowledge of the situation said, “There was no solid justification to set bond and allow him to be back on the streets,” adding, “This is not the first time that this judge decreased bail restrictions.”
The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said on Thursday that Sciarrino had set bail in a fatal hit-and-run case. He also granted a break to a career criminal who had been jailed five times in less than a year.
Sciarrino supported the defense’s claim that Diallo, who police think is a reputed member of the Insane Gangsta Crips street gang, shouldn’t be held without bail in connection with the shooting of two members of an opposing gang on January 27, 2022 in Crown Heights.
Records reveal that Diallo was initially remanded into custody by a different court after being accused with attempted murder, conspiracy, and weapons possession last year.
After being indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury, the matter was brought before Sciarrino on August 25. According to a transcript of the hearing, Diallo’s defence attorney urged bail should be set and emphasised his client will return to court.
Because to the nature of the allegations and Diallo’s earlier run-ins with the law, even while he was a minor, prosecutors asked that he remain behind bars.
While children were being driven to school and several people were leaving for work when Diallo reportedly opened fire, Deputy District Attorney Daniel Stern told the judge.
Stern continued, “And I’ll say, he doesn’t stop firing until he hits the victims.
Instead, Sciarrino set bail, and Diallo’s friends and neighbours were able to raise enough money for a $500,000 bond to free the alleged shooter while the investigation was still in progress.
Documents indicate that three people raised the $50,000 required to post the bond.
Across from PS 371 Lillian L. Rashkis High School in Sunset Park on Tuesday, according to police, Diallo allegedly noticed two more rival gang members. He then allegedly opened fire, injuring both of his intended targets.
Diallo was referred to as “a very well-known perp to us” by NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig in a briefing following the most recent incident.
In reference to Ebbets Field Houses, a group that competes with Diallo’s Crips crew, he claimed that the two victims were rumoured to be members of the Only the Field gang.
Diallo shouldn’t have been walking the streets, a Brooklyn police officer said, adding that the judge is lucky that the two victims shot the other day did not sustain significant injuries.
This judge has released prisoners to conduct other crimes before.
On Thursday, Michael Chessa, Diallo’s attorney, declined to comment.
In August, a representative for the state Office of Court Administration defended the judge’s decision to set bail, claiming it was not particularly lenient. He also pointed out that courts are expected by law to use the “least restrictive measures” to guarantee a prisoner shows up for court.
According to OCA representative Lucian Chalfen, “least restrictive” in a New York State bail statute means just that. And anybody believes that a $500,000 bail with electronic monitoring and maintaining the case in Supreme Criminal Court rather than the Youth Division, as we sought, isn’t living in 2023.
In a case revealed on Thursday, however, Sciarrino made yet another puzzling choice by permitting a man suspected of a fatal hit-and-run to be released without bond.
Lehha Kohn, 59, was struck by Daniel Buckley, 67, who is accused of making an illegal turn in his vehicle on November 28. He then allegedly drove off, leaving Kohn in critical condition on the crossing.
When Buckley was arrested on charges of manslaughter and reckless endangerment, Brooklyn prosecutors requested that he be kept under $100,000 bail. In May, he will be back in court.
Tevin Lawrence, a 21-year-old career criminal who was apprehended at least five times between August 2021 and November 2022, has also received leniency from Sciarrino on numerous occasions.
In the first instance, Lawrence was accused with burglary and Sciarrino denied him bail during his arraignment. Lawrence was then arrested again in January 2022 for assault when it was claimed that he had dragged a police officer behind a car, according to sources and records.
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Despite the fact that Lawrence had first been held in detention, Sciarrino later set bail at $100,000 and paid it.
Lawrence was allegedly apprehended in October while driving a stolen car, and Sciarrino once more granted him release—this time without posting bond.
He was detained pending trial after being arrested once more the following month in connection with another case involving a stolen car, but Sciarrino took over the case and set bail at $10,000, which Lawrence was able to pay.
One insider stated, “This is a guy who keeps committing crimes. “Every time Sciarrino gets the case, he releases him. He keeps getting either remanded or low bail.”
A Thursday request for comment on the cases was not answered by the Legal Aid Society, who represents Lawrence.
Sciarrino reportedly expressed regret over his own propensity for being forgiving.
Israel National News stated that in a 2018 case, the judge chose to give theft defendant Zakiyyah Steward, 25, a break by deciding to sentence her to a rehab facility rather than to jail.
According to the site, Steward was later accused of killing Yisroel Levin and his fiancee Elisheva Kaplan in a horrific collision in April 2018.
Sciarrino remarked of Steward, “I’ll take the blame for giving her too many opportunities.