An angry Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter questioned how a man with a long arrest record for violence and guns was granted bail, walking free hours before a warrant was issued for him in a 2011 murder, and days before a witness to that slaying was gunned down, execution style, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Nutter, who has made public safety, especially gun violence, one of the centerpieces of his platform for a second term, called the case of Jorge Aldea, 23, “exhibit number one,” in the challenges facing police when they arrest violent criminals only to watch them go free.
On Jan. 5, Judge Nazario Jimenez Jr. reduced Aldea’s bail on a gun-possession charge from $50,000 to $20,000, despite a prosecutor’s objections over Aldea’s dozen previous arrests, including ones for attempted murder and assault. Six days later, Aldea posted 10 percent bail and was released. Hours later that same day, a warrant was issued for him in a murder. A witness in the case was shot dead Jan. 23, and police believe Aldea was involved. “This is a person that should not have been out on the street in the first place,” Nutter told the Inquirer. “It was a gun charge, and when you look at his history, his record, his priors, it’s clear this is a dangerous person.”