The case of Javier Lorenzano-Fercano in Putnam County, NY

As of January 1, New York State’s new criminal-justice reforms took effect, including a bail reform law that compels judges to free thousands of arrested defendants. Now that the law is in-effect, arraignment judges are prohibited from demanding bail in so-called nonviolent felony crimes, which can in certain cases even include robberies, rapes, and assaults.

In New York State, leaving the scene of a fatal automobile accident is a Class D felony, involving a fine of $1,000-$2,500 and imprisonment for not more than 7 years. Class D felonies are subdivided into ‘violent’ and ‘non-violent’ subcategories.

This Tuesday, Putnam County Sheriff Robert L. Langley, Jr. reported that three defendants who were incarcerated on pending criminal charges had been released, as mandated by the new criminal justice reforms. Among those released was 40-year-old Javier Lorenzano-Fercano, who had been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal automobile accident.

It is alleged that on October 25, 2019, Lorenzano-Fercano was driving in the Town of Philipstown in Putnam County when, shortly before 11 p.m., he struck and killed a 38-year-old man, then fled the area without reporting the incident. He was arrested the next day in Wappingers Falls in Dutchess County.

Lorenzano-Fercano was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and had been held at the Putnam County jail on $25,000 bail and $50,000 bond since his arrest. He was released on December 31, as the state's bail reforms went into effect on January 1.

When Javier Lorenzano-Fercano was released from custody, officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting on an immigration detainer placed him under arrest.

Update, February 18: Javier Lorenzano-Fercano has been indicted on felony charges resulting from the fatal hit-and-run in Philipstown in October. He was arraigned in Putnam County Court on second-degree vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

He is due back in court on March 3 and remains in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


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