INDIANAPOLIS — Court records show two recent murders in Indianapolis were committed by suspects out on GPS monitoring following previous violent crimes.
Some say those cases raise concern about whether the legal system is doing enough to protect the community.
After being stabbed to death at the Always Inn on East 21st Street last month, Christie Holt was left to decompose for nearly a week.
During that time, court records claim Marcus Garvin attempted to dismember the victim before dragging her body in a sheet across the parking lot to a nearby creek.
A witness noticed Garvin trying to dispose of the body called police.
Court records show when officers arrived, they found Garvin had cut off his GPS monitor and appeared ready to flee.
Garvin had been on GPS monitoring after being charged with battery with a deadly weapon in December of 2020. In that prior case, Garvin was accused of stabbing a customer at a gas station on Shadeland.
Garvin was released from jail after judge Shatrese Flowers lowered his bond to $1,500 and allowed him to be placed on GPS monitoring, despite the objection of prosecutors.
“This community deserves better than this. This family deserved better than this,” said Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder.
In a second case, prosecutors claim 17-year-old Jahion Jarrett murdered a Lyft driver during a robbery and dumped his body behind an east side church near 25th and Post last month.
According to surveillance video from the church, detectives confirm 45-year-old Hurts Presendieu’s body was dumped behind a storage building at 9:42 p.m. on July 8.
Jarrett was on GPS monitoring at the time of the crime.
Court records say he was being monitored by the Marion County Superior Court’s probation department. Documents obtained from the probation department show his monitor was pinged at the location where the body was found around 9:30 on July 8, 2021.
Jarrett had been on GPS monitoring ahead of his trial for a different armed robbery last September.
“Here are two real-time examples that resulted in two real deaths because of decisions that were made,” said Snyder.
While prosecutors and the courts declined to comment, Snyder believes the deaths were preventable and again criticized the fact that there are more than 4,000 people wearing electronic devices in Marion County every day.
In January of this year, the county’s probation department took over 1,700 pre-trial cases and now monitors them instead of MCCC. Community Corrections still tracks over 1,800 people on post-trial release.
“There’s no other city in the nation with as people on GPS monitoring as the City of Indianapolis,” said Snyder. “What we keep saying is intervention equals prevention in the middle of a crisis.”
Garvin’s bond was posted with the assistance of The Bail Project. That group provided a written statement on the issue.
We received a referral for bail assistance from Mr. Garvin’s public defender in January after the court lowered his bail from $30k to $1.500 and imposed GPS monitoring as a condition of release. As we do with all referrals, we interviewed Mr Garvin to gather information about his legal history, his ability to return to court, and to identify any unmet needs. He had a stable place to live with family and a plan to return to court to resolve his case.
Generally speaking, we take several factors into consideration, including the types of needs the person might have and whether we can connect them to adequate services. In this case, the bail reduction was a key factor in the decision as it indicated that the court wanted to facilitate his release.David Gaspar, national director of operations at The Bail Project
Both murder suspects are now being held without bond pending trial.