While cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago get the lion’s share of attention for soft-on-crime policies that are returning suspected violent offenders to the streets with little-to-no oversight, the problem isn’t limited to just a handful of ultra-progressive localities.
In fact, as a recent case out of Charlotte, North Carolina, shows, the issue is far more widespread than you might think.
The Chester County Sheriff’s Office said it has taken out arrest warrants for 30-year-old Vangereil Dretreckes Miller.
Miller is accused of shooting five people around 12:30 a.m. on Sunday in the area of Powell Drive off of James F. Wherry Road and Harvey Neely Road.
Deputies said one person, later identified as Kevin Feaster, died at the scene. The four other victims left the scene and arrived at the hospital before deputies got there, according to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies announced Sunday evening that one of those people had been released from the hospital. On Monday, deputies said a second person was released and two remain in the hospital. One person is in stable condition and the other is in unstable condition, they said.
Miller has been charged with one count of murder as well as possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and authorities say more charges are pending. I guess they can add them to the laundry list of charges that Miller is already facing for crimes he’s allegedly committed over the past two years.
Miller is currently out on bond for the following charges:
- Attempted murder in Feb. 2020
- Possession of a weapon during a violent crime in Feb. 2020
- Attempted murder in May 2020
- Malicious injury to property in May 2020
- Possession of a weapon during a violent crime in May 2020
Why on earth Was Miller out on bond, considering he was facing multiple charges of attempted murder? Perhaps a case could be made that a single attempted murder charge wasn’t enough to demonstrate that Miller posed a danger to the community, but when a second attempted murder charge was levied against him three months after the first, that should have been more than enough to convince a judge to keep him in custody until his trial took place (or he accepted a plea bargain, which is the more likely outcome to all of his cases).
Instead, Miller was repeatedly allowed to post bond, though after his second arrest on attempted murder and weapons charges in May of 2020 a judge did place him on house arrest and required him to wear an electronic monitor, which clearly didn’t make much of a difference to Miller.
We cannot and should not keep all criminal defendants behind bars until their trial. That’s not only impractical, it’s fundamentally unconstitutional as well. However, pre-trial detention is both law lawful and pragmatic when we’re dealing with individuals who are a flight risk or a danger to the community, and considering that Miller stands accused of shooting at least six people over the past two years and is currently on the run, I’d say he’s met both of those conditions.
I’m sure if and when Miller is taken into custody, he won’t be receiving bond for his latest charges. But if the system had worked the way it’s supposed to, Miller wouldn’t be facing murder charges in the first place, because he would have been in jail awaiting trial instead of allegedly shooting five people this past weekend.