Sandra Raiche said her son, Tyler Martin, was “no angel,” but he was a good father, son, brother and uncle and was trying to stay clean from a heroin addiction when he died from a fentanyl overdose on Oct. 24, 2020.
Raiche, of Wisconsin, gave testimony Tuesday to oppose a request for the pre-trial release of John Maly, 29, of McHenry, who was charged with drug-induced homicide, a Class X felony, and the unlawful delivery of a controlled substance in the death of Martin at age 29.
Raiche said Maly needed to remain in McHenry County jail and that she has not seen any remorse from him or his co-defendant Casey L. Johann, 26, of Hebron. She also said she doesn’t want Maly’s family to go through the same pain she is going through, should he die from a drug overdose himself.
“I don’t understand this new law,” she said of the SAFE-T Act’s cashless bail provision, which went into effect Sept. 18 and gave Maly and other jail inmates the chance to petition for pre-trial release. “I’m upset beyond belief. I don’t agree with this.”
Kevin Hanzel, Maly’s defense attorney, argued that Maly is eligible for pre-trial release with conditions.
But Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Miller countered that Maly is a danger to the community at large and that he has a history of drug offenses, and violating parole and probation. He was on probation at the time he allegedly delivered the fatal dose of fentanyl to Martin, Miller said.
Maly’s death is “not an isolated incident. He has a history of getting people hooked,” Miller said, citing a 2017 case in which Maly was charged in connection with another fatal overdose.
Miller’s argument prevailed and Judge Tiffany Davis ordered Maly remain in jail.
Tuesday’s scene in a McHenry County courtroom was among several hearings that have taken place since the act did away with cash bond, with dozens of inmates at the McHenry County jail filing petitions for pre-trial release.
As of Friday, 15 of those inmates have had hearings. Of those, 10 had been released.
Defense attorneys who support the new law say it brings fairness to those charged with a crime who, under the old system, would remain in jail awaiting trial merely because they don’t have the cash to post bond and be released.
Supporters say if defendants – who are innocent until proven guilty – are able to be released pre-trial, they have a better chance at keeping their families together, keeping their jobs and aiding in their defense.
The 10 inmates released last week with conditions have charges including child pornography, drug-induced homicide, possession of cocaine, auto theft, burglary, felony driving under the influence and retail theft, according to documents filed in the McHenry County courthouse.
Some defendants, held in the county jail on charges now deemed automatically non-detainable under the new law, have been released at the judge’s discretion.
Those cases included charges such as burglary, retail theft, delivery of less than 5 grams of fentanyl and DUI.
McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally has been outspoken against the new law. He issued news releases last week listing defendants charged with particular offenses that required a judge to automatically release them. He called this an “absurdity.”
“The most glaring problem with the SAFE-T Act is that pretrial release decisions [in some cases] are being made based on the type of charge a defendant faces, not a defendant’s dangerousness or likelihood of complying with court orders,” he said.
Kenneally said judges are forced to release inmates based on the charge alone and are not allowed to consider other allegations or criminal histories, which “might allow a judge to reasonably conclude that they present a clear risk of disregarding the law and/or court orders if released.”
“Tragically, under the SAFE-T Act, a judge is without power to detain defendants in these types of cases even if he believes the community is endangered,” Kenneally said.
The five defendants whose petitions for release were heard and denied are charged with non-probational offenses of possessing a weapon as a felon, manufacturing and delivering cocaine, aggravated battery to a police officer, armed violence and aggravated domestic battery, court records show.
Among those released with conditions are inmates alleged to have committed the most serious crimes, Class X felonies, such as Michael Walach.
Like Maly, Walach, 62, is charged with drug-induced homicide. However, Walach was granted release with conditions.
Scott Krueger, of Algonquin, charged with multiple counts of Class X child pornography, also was released, according to court records.
Walach, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, had been held in the jail since last month on $250,000 bond. He is accused of delivering a fatal dose of heroin to a Hebron man in 2022.
Prior to the start of cashless bond, Walach was required to post $25,000 to be released.
Judges now must weigh whether a defendant is a safety or flight risk, and they can impose conditions on a defendant who’s released, such as meeting curfews, staying out of trouble, wearing a GPS tracker or ankle monitor or, as in Walach’s case, requiring drug screens and substance abuse evaluation.
McHenry County Judge James Cowlin also ordered that Walach not consume alcohol, illicit substances or THC and have no contact with a particular person named in documents, court records show. Cowlin also required Walach attend court appearances in person.
In Krueger’s case, the judge imposed additional conditions, including restricting him from using electronic devices other than his personal cell phone, having no contact with children younger than 18 other than his own biological child and having remote monitoring software installed on his cell phone, which can be monitored by court officials. He also is require to submit to a psychological evaluation, according to court documents.
Krueger, 50, was arrested Aug. 30 and charged with 45 counts of child pornography. Investigators allegedly found that he possessed and had disseminated numerous of images and videos of child pornography on a personal computer. He had been held in the jail on $500,000, meaning he would have had to post $50,000 to be released.
Others with less serious offenses also were released, including a 42-year-old Island Lake woman charged with possession of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony. She had been held in the county jail since Sept. 11 on $10,000 bond.
Cowlin declined the prosecutor’s request that the woman be required to undergo drug testing as a condition of her release, but he told the woman he could do so in the future.
A 35-year-old man charged with retail theft, a Class 3 felony, as well as theft of merchandise less than $300, a Class 4 felony, also was released.
Authorities allege the man was on probation for a previous conviction when he allegedly stole three vacuum cleaners and a sewing machine from the Walmart in Crystal Lake. He also is suspected of stealing items from the Walmart in Huntley, said Assistant State’s Attorney Maria Marek in making her argument that he be held in the county jail pending trial.
The new law also involves daily afternoon court appearances and detention hearings for new arrests on cases considered detainable.
As of Friday, 23 new defendants made initial appearances. Of those, six were eligible for detention.
The state filed detention petitions on those six, and McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge found probable cause to hold three in the county jail.
The defendants released with conditions included a person charged with domestic battery and another charged with violating an order of protection.
He is alleged to have shot a pistol into a crowd at about 1 a.m. in McHenry this month.
The second defendant ordered held was Michael Ramirez, 48, of Oakwood Hills, who is charged with four counts of aggravated battery of a police officer, Class 2 felonies; and domestic battery, Class 4 felonies, according to court documents.
During that detention hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Sophia Dinkel, argued that Ramirez had prior convictions for domestic battery as well as battery to a police officer. She said he was a “dangerous and violent person” and “shows a real and present threat” to the alleged victim.