Police were shocked to learn that a Fair Lawn woman charged with attempted murder after authorities said she shot a man in the face was released from jail over the weekend.
Sharese Peeples spent nine days in the Bergen County Jail before a judge ordered her release with conditions, pending further court action, under New Jersey's 2017 bail reform law.
"We’re usually quiet about this stuff, but the [law enforcement community] is just shocked," one said.
"We get that there are people who can't afford bail, and so [bail reform] lets them stay out and work," the officer told Daily Voice. "But in this case she flat-out shot a homeowner in the face and her accomplice is saying she did it."
New Jersey's Bail Reform & Speedy Trial Act was designed to ensure that poor defendants charged with minor crimes don't stay locked up while large-scale drug dealers pay whatever amount of bail is necessary to free themselves.
Although judges often attach conditions, law enforcement authorities say the reforms have created an unending "catch and release" that allows repeat offenders to continue victimizing the public while police resources that could be used to protect it are tied up.
Peeples, 32, was charged with attempted murder after she and two accomplices claimed the victim was shot during a home invasion by two others, Acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo said following her Nov. 2 arrest.
Peeples also was charged with weapons offenses and with lying to investigators, Calo said.
Also charged with filing a false report was Steven Mitchell, a 31-year-old bus cleaner who lives with Peeples above Stosh's on Maple Avenue the prosecutor said.
A third defendant remained at large: He was identified as Isaiah Lee, 35, a self-employed construction worker from East Orange. A fugitive warrant was issued for his arrest for filing a false report, Calo said.
Peeples, Mitchell and Lee told borough police who responded to the Oct. 26 shooting call that one of two home invaders who entered their apartment, the prosecutor said.
It was really Peeples, he said.
ALSO SEE: A couple was caught and a fugitive sought after a man was shot in the face in what authorities said was an attempted killing in an apartment above a Fair Lawn craft beer bar.
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