ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The Bernalillo County District Attorney is frustrated after suspects believed to be on ankle monitors are back on the streets without a head. Jawid Yaqubi is accused of pulling a gun on his sister and firing a shot directly over their mother’s head at their home in Albuquerque. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and the DA’s office fought to hold him over until trial.
A judge, however, decided to release him. “The judge decided to release him over our objections. But he also said he would place him on a GPS monitor and keep him in custody until that monitor is available,” said Raúl Torrez, district attorney for the Bernalillo County.
Yaqubi was released from jail, put on a bus from the Metropolitan Detention Center to downtown and was supposed to report to pretrial services for his ankle monitor, but officials they say that didn’t happen. “He’s gone and it’s no surprise that he ended up going back home with his mom and his sister,” Torrez said.
His mother and sister called 911 saying Yaqubi was there and looking for his guns that had been taken from him after the initial case. “We are not surprised that he returned home. And frankly, I’m not surprised that their primary interest was to have access to these weapons,” Torrez said.
Torrez says this case highlights the inadequacy of GPS monitors as an alternative to pretrial detention. He says if a judge releases a suspect, there should be better communication between prison staff and pretrial services.
Torrez says there’s often a waiting list for GPS monitors that he says wouldn’t happen if they could arrest more people. He also says the system needs to be looked at more closely to make sure everything is being done to keep the community safe. “The criminal justice system really doesn’t work well with the honor system. That’s because of the nature of who we’re dealing with. That’s why common sense should be on the agenda. That’s why it should of placing the ankle monitor on that individual before they get on a bus and release them back into the community,” Torrez said.
Yaqubi has no criminal record. A hearing is scheduled next week, again before Judge Stan Whitaker for an emergency motion to revoke his release conditions.
Yaqubi is not the only person released this month by Judge Whitaker on a GPS monitor who broke the rules. Earlier this month, Ralph Vasquez was supposed to turn himself in to begin a 9-year prison sentence, but he cut his ankle monitor and is now on the run.