The Other McCain

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The Preventable Death of Khaliyah Jones

Posted on | August 4, 2023 | Comments Off on The Preventable Death of Khaliyah Jones

Khaliyah Jones (left); Cameron Hopkins (right)

A year ago — July 16, 2022 — Khaliyah Jones was kidnapped:

Two people are in custody following a kidnapping at the Lovejoy Walmart Saturday, July 16.
Khaliyah Jones, 18, was allegedly taken from the store’s parking lot by her ex-boyfriend Cameron Hopkins, 19.
Witnesses told police Hopkins broke a window of a vehicle Jones was in with a handgun, pulled her from the car and forced her into his vehicle and then fled.
Later, Hopkins left his vehicle and called Demarco Jennings to pick him up. When Jennings arrived Hopkins allegedly forced Jones in the car and they began traveling to Albany.
Police said Jones was able to escape the car and ran to a nearby business for help while providing police the location the two were heading to.
With the help of the Albany Police Department and information from Jones, both Hopkins and Jennings were arrested and returned to Clayton County where they remain in jail. . . .
Hopkins is charged with making terroristic threats, kidnapping, criminal damage and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. For his part, Jennings is facing kidnapping charges.

This was obviously a very serious crime, and Khaliyah Jones was fortunate to escape. What happened a year later has provoked outrage:

A man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend was out on bond at the time of the alleged crime after the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office missed a crucial administrative deadline, court records and District Attorney Tasha Mosley confirm.
Cameron Hopkins faces malice murder and other charges after allegedly abducting and fatally shooting his 19-year-old ex-girlfriend, Khaliyah Jones, on July 16.
At the time, court records show that the 20-year-old Hopkins was out on bond for similar charges from one year earlier. On July 16, 2022, arrest warrants allege he abducted Khaliyah from a Lovejoy Walmart at gunpoint. In the warrant application, the investigator wrote: “After kidnapping the victim… Cameron Hopkins was contacted via phone at which time he said if the police attempts[sic] to pull him over as he flees with the victim that he will shoot and kill her.”
Khaliyah’s family is now left wondering how Hopkins was ever released on bond.
“Why? Why was he let out?” asked Khaliyah’s mother, Bridgette Jones.
An error made by prosecutors may be responsible.
Under current Georgia law, a felony defendant cannot be held in jail without bond for more than 90 days after their arrest without an indictment. If prosecutors do not obtain an indictment within that 90 day timeline, a judge is typically required to grant the defendant bond — regardless of the charges.
“You’re on the clock,” said Danny Porter, who served as Gwinnett County’s district attorney for decades before leaving office in 2020.
“DA’s offices have to have some kind of a system,” he said. “You have to track these.”
Clayton County prosecutors did not obtain an indictment until March 2023 — more than seven months after Hopkins’ July 2022 arrest, according to court documents obtained by 11Alive.
Court records show that a magistrate court judge initially denied Hopkins bond on his July 2022 kidnapping and related charges, but after more than 90 days passed without an indictment, a superior court judge reversed course in October 2022 and granted bond.
In a phone interview, Clayton County District Attorney Mosley said “we did miss the 90-day time period to indict.” She called the oversight “a mistake.”
“My child is dead because of a ‘mistake’?” asked Bridgette Jones. “I do not accept that.”
According to the October 2022 Clayton County Superior Court bond order granted after prosecutors missed their 90-day deadline, Hopkins was ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitor, stay out of Clayton County except for court dates or attorney meetings, and stay away from Khaliyah Jones — in addition to meeting a $150,000 bond.
“We did everything that we could with the bond conditions to ensure that she was as safe as we possibly could,” District Attorney Mosley said.
While out on bond from those 2022 charges, law enforcement says Hopkins abducted Jones once again. This time, they allege, he led law enforcement on a high speed chase that ended at Lovejoy High School. Police say he fatally shot Khaliyah in the school driveway.
It’s the same school where, one year earlier, she received her diploma.
“In my eyes, the police did their job. They caught the criminal,” Bridgette Jones said. “But between the prosecutor and the courts, y’all failed.”
Hopkins has pleaded not guilty to all of his 2022 charges, according to his attorney Steve Frey. He has not yet had an opportunity to enter a formal plea for his 2023 charges, according to Frey.
District Attorney Mosley says that her office has changed its procedures in an effort to prevent an oversight like this from happening again. They’ve implemented changes in the ways they interact with magistrate court, including “a shared email just going to… the top command so that we get those cases and start working on them quicker,” she told 11Alive.
Bridgette Jones says those changes came too late for her daughter.
“We lost a great human that was going to help a lot of people,” she said. “Khaliyah just wanted to help people.”

Before we get to the matter of the prosecutor’s error that led to this murder, let me ask something: Who posted bail for Cameron Hopkins?

Last time I checked, bail bondsmen required 10% of the bond amount to be paid in cash, so if the bond for Cameron Hopkins was $150,000, somebody had to pay $15,000 cash to get him out on bond. Now, suppose one of your kids got messed up and committed a heinous crime like this. Would you pay $15,000 so your child could be released from jail while awaiting trial? As for me, the answer is hell, no. My children better not ever do anything like that, but if they did, they could just sit their ass in jail, because I sure as hell don’t have a spare $15,000 laying around.

Now what about that Clayton County district attorney, whose “mistake” — oops! — let Cameron Hopkins get out of jail, because her office missed the deadline to get him indicted so he could be held without bond? It took seven months for them to get the indictment, by which time Hopkins had been out of jail for more than four months. Shouldn’t there be some kind of accountability for such a failure? Georgia legislators thought so, which is why they passed a law creating a commission with the power to remove local prosecutors who “refuse to uphold the law.”

Guess what? The lawless officials are suing:

A coalition of Georgia district attorneys is suing to challenge a state law that created a commission to remove and discipline state prosecutors.
The group of four district attorneys is challenging a recently signed bill that established the Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission (PACQ), which holds the power to remove local prosecutors who “refuse to uphold the law.” At the time, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said the commission would curb “far-left prosecutors” who are “making our communities less safe.”
The effort is being led by DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston and also includes Towaliga District Attorney Jonathan Adams, Augusta District Attorney Jared Williams, and Cobb District Attorney Flynn Broady. The prosecutors in a press release said that Senate Bill 92 (SB 92) “overrides the will of voters, threatens prosecutorial independence, and violates federal and state constitutions.” . . .
The lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in Fulton County Superior Court, questions the constitutionality of the bill and says it oversteps by requiring district attorneys to review every single case. It says that it violates the separation of powers clause in the Georgia Constitution, noting that district attorneys fall within the jurisdiction of the judicial branch.
“This duty is practically unworkable, limiting district attorneys’ ability to define enforcement priorities and approaches and distracting from the prosecution of meritorious cases,” the lawsuit states. . . .
“Not only is SB 92 unconstitutional, this new Commission is also unnecessary and wasteful,” Boston said. “Georgia already provides other ways to address misconduct by prosecutors — including Bar discipline, impeachment, and ultimately, the ballot box.”
Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr vowed to defend the law in court, saying that district attorneys are “not immune from accountability.”
“I have great respect for the important role District Attorneys play in protecting Georgia’s citizens,” Carr said in a statement. “Unfortunately, some District Attorneys have embraced the progressive movement across the nation of refusing to enforce the law. That is a dereliction of duty, and as a result, Georgia’s communities suffer.”

What about the murder of Khaliyah Jones? Isn’t this a clear example of the kind of “dereliction of duty” that Attorney General Carr wants to prevent? And where are the “social justice” activists? Where is Black Lives Matter? Why aren’t they protesting outside the Clayton County courthouse, demanding that District Attorney Tasha Mosley resign? As for the feminists who love to lecture us about “violence against women” — Amanda Marcotte, Jessica Valenti, et al. — they haven’t said say a word about the murder of Khaliyah Jones, for some reason.



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