A Massachusetts teenager arrested with a loaded gun while riding in a stolen car was cut loose by a Manhattan judge — despite prosecutors requesting bail over the suspect’s “extensive out of state ties,” The Post has learned.
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge John Zhuo Wang let 18-year-old Jaquan Gilliard walk on supervised release at his arraignment Monday on felony charges including second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Gilliard was a passenger in the back of the stolen 2014 Toyota Camry driven by his cousin — which the pair planned to take from Massachusetts to South Carolina — when they were busted Sunday on West 101st Street and Columbus Avenue, according to the criminal complaint against him.
A black semi-automatic pistol was found under the backseat floorboard, and Gilliard later allegedly admitted the weapon was his, prosecutors said.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said that though it was the teen’s first arrest, prosecutors requested $20,000 bail, citing the nature of the crime and arguing the accused’s out-of-state ties made it unlikely he’d return to court “on his own .”
But Wang rejected that request, granting Gilliard supervised release until his next court date on September 2, a DA spokesperson confirmed. Attorney information was not immediately available for Gilliard.
One police officer with two decades on the job bashed Wang’s decision, dubbing him, “Judge Letemgo.”
“You really think he’s going to come back to New York for his gun case?” the cop said.
Gilliard’s cousin, 24-year-old Harold Milton, was arraigned separately Tuesday under a different criminal court judge, who set $3,500 bail or $7,500 bond, the DA’s office said.
That was still well below the $25,000 bail prosecutors requested during the hearing before Judge Soma Syed.
A spokesman for the Office of Court Administration said that although many factors go into a judge’s decision, under New York state laws, “bail is solely meant to ensure the defendant’s return to court. Nothing else.”
“Our criminal justice reform laws predispose against pretrial incarceration and give the arraigning judge narrow discretion, even on violent felony offences, while requiring them to consider both the least restrictive form of pretrial detention and if a monetary amount is set – that it be within the defendant’s ability to meet it,” Lucian Halfen said in a statement.
Gilliard and Milton, who is also due back in court September 2, are each facing charges of criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of stolen property.