Court Watch – September 25, 2023

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Today’s Court Watch is for cases filed during the week of September 25, 2023. There were a total of 97 cases. They continued 20 cases, 5 of which had an attorney. Defendants failed to appear in 60 cases, a rate of 62%. Guilty pleas were entered in 17 cases, of which 7 were pleaded down to a no point violation. Speeding accounted for 56 of the cases, 4 driving while revoked or suspended, 11 with expired plates or not registered, and 12 lacking insurance.

And now we get to this week’s illustrations of why we should have bond for some traffic offenders, Colby Alexander Potts. Mr. Potts, who resides in Florissant, was ticketed for going 51+ over the limit on Ferguson Avenue at Forestwood Drive. He got his first speeding ticket in 2016, failed to appear, was under a warrant, and paid it two years later. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to stealing a motor vehicle, receiving a suspended sentence and 120 days shock time, covering that and other subsequent offenses. He was charged with tampering with a motor vehicle and resisting arrest by dangerous fleeing in 2019, receiving 5 years probation. His probation was revoked after a year, but there is no record of him serving time. He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic assault in connection with a January 2020 incident, receiving 2 years of probation. He was released from that probation a year after sentencing. In 2021, he received 3 traffic tickets, and failed to appear in all of those cases. In two of them, he paid later. He was charged with felony domestic assault in October 2021. That case has been repeatedly continued and has not come to trial. He was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm in January 2022, receiving 5 years probation, which has been repeatedly violated since then. In July of this year, Florissant charged him with careless and imprudent driving, and with property damage, alleging that he crashed into a fence at a public elementary school and fled the scene. His first appearance in the Florissant cases will be in January. And finally, there’s the Ferguson offense. His court date was October 16, and from court records it appears that the busy gentleman was elsewhere occupied.

Next, there’s Gennaya Campbell. Miss Campbell is presently charged with misdemeanor assault, and for burglary. On the burglary charge, the probable cause statement is most interesting:

The Victim advised his glass sliding door was locked when he left for work at approximately 1300 hours. The Victim advised
the door lock had been damaged while he was at work and it no longer locks. Inside the Victim’s apartment, all of the victim’s
clothing and shoes were covered in AJAX powdered cleaner and a blue viscous liquid that appeared to be laundry detergent.
The AJAX powder and blue liquid had also been poured all over the rest of the apartment, including his bedding and on food
and electronics. The Victim’s laptop was sitting open on his desk, which also had AJAX and blue liquid poured onto/into the
keyboard, rendering it inoperable.

The victim advised he believed his ex-girlfriend, Gennaya had broken into the apartment and caused the damage after
having an altercation at his work earlier that same day.

I made contact with Gennaya’s mother at their residence, Gennaya was not home however spoke to me on the phone.
Gennaya stated, “I got mad, not going to lie.” “I got some detergent and I just poured it. That’s it.” I confirmed with Gennaya
that she was referring to the inside of the victim’s apartment, and Gennaya stated “Yeah, like I didn’t break in, the door was
already unlocked.” Gennaya then abruptly stopped talking and then made the statement, “I got to remember who I’m on the
phone with.”

These charges have not proceeded in court because, when they attempted to serve her with a summons, they were not able to locate her. What hope is there that she will show up in our court any time soon?

Finally, we have the incredible case of Jasmine Lashea Shackelford. Over a six year period, Shackelford was charged with a total of 55 offenses related to motor vehicles. This included 14 charges of driving while suspended or revoked, 5 charges of failing to put a child in a seatbelt. 13 charges of driving without insurance, 3 charges of speeding, and a variety of other offenses. We reviewed court records, and can’t find a single instance of her actually appearing in court. In Ferguson, where she also failed to appear, she has been charged with driving 60 mph on West Florissant, with no insurance, a revoked or suspended license, and an unregistered vehicle. How many warrants are necessary before we actually do something more than write a ticket and let them drive away?