Bail Problems May Have Led to Murder

Problems with the New Jersey bail system may have contributed to the slaying of a Toms River native, reports suggest.

Hanif Thompson was charged with burglary on December 7th, 2013 with his bail set at $50,000. He was let out on bail after only paying $200 with a promise to pay more.

One week after his release, he took part in the slaying which occurred during a car-jacking at the Mall of Short Hills.

The State Commission of Investigation made a point of highlighting Thompson’s release from jail and how it came to put him in the position to commit murder. Four defendants were charged in the case. 2 of the defendants had recently been let out of jail with small bail payments.

Aaron Bail Bonds cut a deal with Thompson to pay only 1% of his total bail instead of the traditional 10%. Thompson agreed to pay the rest in installments. The report filed by the commission does not directly criticize Aaron Bail Bonds, but does detail some questionable practices that are a detriment to the bail bond system in New Jersey.

“During the course of this investigation, prosecutors, judges and jail personnel expressed mounting frustration with the distorted state of affairs that characterizes New Jersey’s current bail system. If the state is going to continue to allow commercial bail-bond agencies to operate within that system, it must establish appropriate statutory, regulatory and administrative controls to hold these entities accountable,” said the report.



Posted on June 3, 2014 at 10:00 AM