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How Broken Families and the Criminal Justice System Let Us Down

John on May 31, 2011 at 9:16 am

In light of the mandated release of thousands of California inmates, this story seems timely. The Milwaukee Journal has done a series called Dangerous and Free about lifetime criminals who, for one reason or another, have remained out of prison. This case is particularly tragic as the boy in question has an arrest record that began when he was seven:

Markus Evans stabbed his teacher with a pencil in kindergarten. He was arrested at age 7 and again at 9 for felony battery to a school employee. There would be 10 arrests in all. At 14, he went after a high school safety aide with an iron rod. A few months later, a relative said, he shot and wounded another teenager.

At 15, Evans blasted his cousin in the back with a shotgun at Gordon Park. The cousin survived and begged prosecutors to get Evans moved to adult court, predicting his next victim wouldn’t be so lucky.

As bad as it sounds in summary the details are even worse:

In December 2008, Evans attacked another school aide, diving across a desk to hit him at Hamilton High School, according to court records.

This time, Evans didn’t escape. He fought with Milwaukee police officers who put him in restraints and hauled him off in a wagon, according to reports.

But Evans was not taken to the county juvenile lockup, an option for police in more serious juvenile cases. It is unclear from records if officers knew Evans was on probation, or if his probation worker knew of the arrest…Evans was released to his mother.

A week later, MaryHellen Evans bought her son a motorized toy car. He hit parked cars in the neighborhood with it, prompting police to order her to take the car away, she said .

Markus Evans was enraged. He tried to light his mother on fire, pouring gas around the house, she said. She didn’t call police.

Over and over the mother refuses to do anything, even refusing to call police after he shot his cousin with a shotgun:

Corey Daniels, 39, a distant cousin, was outside with a couple dozen other family members. The last thing Daniels remembers was hearing a “voom” and hitting the ground.

After firing the shotgun, Evans bolted with the weapon, which was not recovered by police.

Daniels was rushed to Froedtert Hospital, where he survived and began a long recovery. From his hospital bed, Daniels heard that Evans remained free even though he was still on probation and there was a warrant for his arrest.

Evans and his mother had been seen at a Chuck E. Cheese’s, he said. Then, on his way home from the hospital, Daniels stopped at a Red Lobster and saw Evans enjoying dinner with his family.

“He was in plain sight,” Daniels said. “It was beyond scary.”

Corey Daniels survived, but his Evans’ next victim was not so lucky:

Evans broke into a neighbor’s house in mid-December. The neighbor confronted Evans, pointing a gun at him. Evans later told police he went up to the neighbor and kissed the gun, daring him to fire.

Evans rushed back into his mother’s house and loaded a shotgun. Police are investigating if it was the same weapon he had used to shoot his cousin.

Evans first pointed the shotgun at his mother and then at himself. He said he was a maniac and the police wouldn’t take him, according to court documents. He stormed out of the house and fired off a shot.

Evans later told police that he was so angry he planned to rob a liquor store and shoot the clerk. Then he spotted Jonoshia, at 7 p.m., as she got off the bus. Jonoshia was coming home after practice for a Christmas program. She was a dancer and singer.

Evans ditched his plan to rob a liquor store and instead ordered Jonoshia at gunpoint into an alley, according to court records. The teenage girl was found dead in the alley, shot in the back of her head.

It’s pretty obvious that this boy should never see the light of day again, but in my opinion his mother should do time for aiding and abetting his lifetime of violent activity. He shot at least two people (probably more) with a gun kept in her house. If she has other children, they’ll be better off without her.

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Category: Crime & the Law |

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