Ynot Update and Judge Hurley Hired Two Court-Ordered Halfway Housers to Work on His Campaign
How do you run over an unarmed person -- especially a very small unarmed person -- in a car in a parking lot in self-defense? That's a question the Davie police are apparently asking themselves as they continue to mull over the death of graffiti artist Jonathan "Ynot" Corso, who was run over during a fight in the Club Eden parking lot on the night of his 21st birthday. In today's Sun-Sentinel story on Ynot memorials being painted around town comes the following line:
|Corso with his newborn son Maximillian.|
"Davie police have not yet classified Corso's death, saying it's still unclear whether he was intentionally run over, if they're dealing with a case of self-defense or if his death was accidental."
Corso's mother, Michelle Corso-Motolla, indicated on her Facebook page that at least one of Corso's friends has been arrested for putting up a "Ynot sticker." She wrote:
"Really???? so my boys get arrested for putting up YNOT stickers... and the scum that ran my son over are still walking around free...".
When asked by a friend who was arrested, she declined to say. I'm going to look into it, but it's clear that anger is building among Corso's family and many friends, and it's not hard to understand their frustration. It's been more than three weeks since this happened. The Escalade driver was interviewed. Everybody there, presumably, has been interviewed. There has been more than enough time to go over the facts. I can't conceive of how there won't some kind of criminal charge here, of manslaughter or vehicular homicide at the least.
Is this just the stereotypical "police baffled" situation, or do the problems run deeper? Whatever the case, the perception is, rightly or wrongly, that the police have their heads in the sand -- and that's not good.
Speaking of not good, the Miami Herald also posted the Sun-Sentinel story and added some videos of the elaborate memorials being painted around town for Ynot. They currently have this video and this one up on the site as evidence of the "illegal tributes" to Corso. The problem: Those videos were shot in 2009, long before Corso was killed, and they were shot in St. Louis, not South Florida. The explanation: They were for another graffiti artist who went by "Ynot" named Brandon Boehmer, who was murdered in St. Louis.
-- OK, just how desperate are these candidates running for reelection tomorrow? Well, we have Broward School Board candidate Ann Murray paying folks off the street a measly $50 to work all day at the polls. And now we have Broward County Judge Jay Hurley paying residents at a Broward County halfway house to work on his campaign. Two of them were ordered there by Broward County courts after committing crimes. Read the details inside after the jump.
Faced with a tough reelection campaign, Hurley apparently decided to seek some help with his campaign from an unlikely place: a halfway house in Margate called Fellowship Living Facilities that offers a 12-step program for residents struggling with alcohol and drug problems.
Campaign records show that he paid four of the halfway house residents $200 apiece on August 12 to work on his campaign. Lisa Marcisak, office manager at Fellowship Living, said that Hurley contacted halfway house director Rick Riccardi and asked about hiring some of the residents there to work on his campaign.
I'm all for giving people a second chance, but here's the kicker: Two of those campaign workers had been ordered by Broward County courts to go to Fellowship Living. Marcisak said that, in fact, many of the residents are ordered either at sentencing or as part of their pretrial release to come to the program. Hurley is the first-appearance magistrate judge who oversees pretrial release.
Court records show that one of the hires, Anthony Sosa, 20, was arrested on charges of armed burglary, grand theft, and dealing in stolen property on November 30. The case is still open. Sosa was also charged with grand theft and dealing in stolen property in 2008.
I asked a busy Judge Hurley, who was on the bench, about his hiring of the halfway house residents this morning.
"That's not true," he said. "I didn't have four people working for me."
I told him that I had in fact confirmed that it was true; it's on his campaign records, after all. He told me he was busy -- which was absolutely true -- and to call his campaign manager, Ed McGee, about it.
UPDATE: McGee, saying that Hurley doesn't know all the details of the campaign, confirmed that the campaign had hired the halfway house workers.
"We know people around the county who run halfway houses, and we have people who need a second chance, and if we're going to help these people get back into society, we'll give you a little hand to keep you busy so you're not in violation of your work release status," said McGee.
That's fair enough, but the problem, in my eyes, is that two of the workers were in the court system and that Hurley, as part of the pretrial release program, could send arrestees to the same halfway house.
"The only thing we said [when they asked for halfway house workers] was we don't want anybody who has come through his court," said McGee. "He probably wasn't the judge who set their bond, and he certainly wasn't the judge who sentenced them to the halfway house."