Bronx, NY – A Bronx judge who allegedly used her political connections to avoid having to serve potential jail time in the past has released a convicted killer and reputed Crips member without bond on his latest slew of gun charges.
Shakeil Chandler, 32, was sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter following the 2006 shooting death of 16-year-old Mario Young, the New York Post reported.
He was released on parole in 2014.
Just before 2 a.m. on Oct. 4, New York police were dispatched to a “ShotSpotter” report of gunfire in the 1300-block of Beach Avenue, according to the New York Post.
Officers arrived to find a 32-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound.
They also allegedly spotted Chandler trying to hide a .357 Magnum revolver by kicking it under a nearby car, the New York Post reported.
The victim refused to cooperate with investigators, and Chandler was ultimately arrested on three counts of weapon and firearm possession since the revolver was “in his custody and control, on the ground near [his] foot,” according to the criminal complaint.
Prosecutors asked Bronx Criminal Court Judge Jeanine Johnson to hold the convicted murderer on $75,000 bail, but Johnson kicked him loose without bail instead, the New York Post reported.
Johnson justified the release by noting that the reputed Crips gang member “has full custody of his child,” and that the New York City Criminal Justice Agency also recommended that he be released without bail.
“It appears that she followed the recommendation of the pre-trial services agency which evaluated the defendant and obviously, in her estimation, she agreed with their assessment,” Office of Court Administration spokesperson Lucian Chalfen told the New York Post.
Juanita Young, the 66-year-old mother of Mario Young, slammed Johnson’s decision to release her son’s killer.
“If you can’t handle the caseload, you need to do another job,” she told the New York Post. “If you can’t make the correct call, step aside.”
One source told the paper that Johnson placed society at risk by releasing Chandler.
“By releasing him on the streets, the judge is threatening the community and protecting a killer,” the source said.
“Obviously, he has not been reformed,” another source told the New York Post. “He is hanging out at 2 a.m. and there is a shooting. He is a threat to society.”
Johnson served as general counsel to Keith Wright when he was serving as a Manhattan assemblyman, the New York Post reported.
Wright has been at the helm of the Manhattan Democratic Party since 2009.
On June 25, 2014, Johnson was stopped by officers in Harlem after she was seen driving erratically after leaving a bar at approximately 4 a.m., the New York Post reported.
According to police, she refused officers’ orders to step out of the vehicle, then mentioned Wright and threatened to call New York police administrators.
Johnson ultimately provided a breath sample of 0.113, which far exceeded the driving limit of 0.08.
After her arrest, Wright sent a letter to the judge who was handling her case, and referred to Johnson as an “indispensable member” of his staff, the New York Post reported.
Johnson pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of driving while ability impaired as part of a plea deal.
When she ran for her judicial seat in 2018, critics alleged that Wright essentially handed her the win by blocking her potential opponents, the New York Post reported.
“There was a selection panel of one person – Keith Wright,” Manhattan Democrat Alan Flacks told the paper. “No one was allowed to run against her.”