If he had stayed in jail, he could still be alive.
Even after Jeremy E. Thompson admitted his guilt last week to a brutal beating and robbery, he managed to persuade a judge to let him remain free on bail pending his upcoming sentencing.
The yearning for a few more months of freedom, authorities said, cost the 27-year-old his life in what appears to be a brutal case of street justice meted out by a gunman who remains on the loose.
“We would not have another homicide in the city if this man had been placed in jail where he belonged after pleading guilty to a vicious attack,” said a police source close to the case.
Thompson was killed in his East Side apartment early Wednesday morning.
Assistant District Attorney John P. Feroleto had asked State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller 12 days ago to revoke Thompson’s bail when he and two other accomplices pleaded guilty in an attack last July 30 that left their victim with two broken arms, a concussion, a stab wound to the left leg and bruises all over his body.
“It was over the objections of John Feroleto who had recommended to the court that Mr. Thompson be remanded to jail in light of his conviction for a violent felony offense and the mandatory prison term he faced,” Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said Thursday. “Ironically, if Mr. Thompson had not objected to the remand, he would likely be alive today.”
Thompson, who was free on $100,000 bail, faced a July 11 sentencing of up to 25 years in prison.
His co-defendants, Monroe Bibbs, 28, and Anson Spates, 26, have been locked up at the Erie County Holding Center since last summer, either unable to afford bail or denied it.
Spates also faces up to 25 years for his guilty plea to first-degree robbery and Bibbs, who pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree robbery, up to 15 years.
Police believe there are other links that prove Thompson received street justice.
The shooting happened in Thompson’s second-floor apartment on Pleasant Place, the same place where he and his companions beat and robbed Koonce Damen in the early-morning hours following a party celebrating Thompson’s 27th birthday
And police say another man who was wounded during Wednesday’s shooting is the brother of Spates, one of Thompson’s co-defendants.
The wounded brother, whose name was withheld, was released from Erie County Medical Center after treatment.
During the attack, Damen was robbed of $3,000 and other possessions, stripped of his clothing and thrown out into the street naked.
In an arrest report, Police Officer Dan O’Neill offered this description of what happened:
Thompson and the other men caused “substantial pain, swelling and bruising all over his body along with a stab wound to his leg, cuts to his head, two broken arms and a concussion ... by means of a deadly weapon ... a handgun ... a kitchen knife ... and a bat.
When Thompson was arrested, it did not go smoothly.
“The defendant did state that his name is Curtis Thompson,” O’Neill wrote in his report. “The officers did warn the defendant and did know the defendant to be Jeremy Thompson, knowing the defendant was giving the officers false information.”
The lie, police said, resulted in an additional charge of false impersonation.
Defense attorney Michael L. D’Amico represented Thompson.