Father testifies to Nassau lawmakers that new bail reform laws led to son’s death
A mourning father spoke at a hearing in Nassau Thursday on the impact of the state's new bail reform law.
Victor Maldonado told Nassau lawmakers the story of his 27-year-old son who prosecutors say was killed in a car crash last month by Jordan Randolph, a man released from arrest without bail.
"My son, Jonathan Flores-Maldonado, has lost his life as a direct result of the enactment of this law,” Maldonado said at the hearing.
As News 12 reported, Randolph had 12 prior convictions, three of them for DWI.
At the time of the crash that killed Flores-Maldonado, Randolph's license was already suspended. He had been previously arrested for allegedly not having a court-ordered ignition interlock device in his car.
However, under the state's new criminal justice reform law, Randolph was released without bail.
Maldonado said he was told Randolph bragged about his previous release when officers arrived to the scene of his son’s crash.
"The police arrived early enough to see [Randolph] trying to escape,” Maldonado told lawmakers. “As he fought off the officers, he told them, ‘It doesn't even matter because the laws changed on Jan. 1 and I will be out tomorrow.’"
Maldonado said his son was working an extra shift as an Uber driver at the time and was saving up for an engagement ring.
"Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and because of this law, we will be grieving the loss of an incredible young man when we should be celebrating,” he said.
Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams accused Republicans of politicizing the issue when they called on the county executive to denounce the new state law.
"You may have some good points in regard to serving the public,” said Abrahams. “That part we don't disagree with...however it's been clouded by politics and fearmongering."
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder testified that more needs to be done to protect all the victims affected by these laws.
Ryder described some of those unfairly affected as “that 16-year-old who sits in jail for marijuana who shouldn't be there, and the victims who have been brutalized and beaten and threatened by MS-13 or any other person in this county."
According to the district attorney's office, the number of requests for witness protection is already more than double than what it was for last year.