California felon a no-show in court after mandatory release
A California woman charged after a midday gunfight outside Northway Mall in January has now missed two scheduled court appearances since her mandatory release.
Anchorage Police say shots were fired in the parking lot outside Shockwave Trampoline Park-- a popular location for children and families-- on Saturday, January 27, after an argument broke out between two groups of people.
According to court documents, witnesses told police they saw people in a white sedan shooting at a red SUV.
Jessica Malcolm, 26, who was allegedly in the red SUV, fled the scene when it crashed but was caught by police. She was in possession of a Glock .45 handgun and a 30-round magazine.
APD charged Malcolm with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a class C felony, but she was free the next day, thanks to the state's new pretrial risk assessment tool.
The risk assessment tool is part of a delayed component of Senate Bill 91. It gives judges a computer-generated number between one and 10 for a defendant, which indicates they're either low-, medium- or high-risk for two factors: how likely the person is to fail to appear for future court hearings, and how likely a defendant is to commit new crimes while out on bail before trial.
Under the state's new pretrial risk assessment tool, Malcolm scored a zero and qualified for mandatory release.
The Department of Corrections confirms the tool's score only takes into account in-state criminal history, and Malcolm had arrived in Alaska two weeks prior to the shooting, leaving her felony criminal history behind in California.
Governor Bill Walker has submitted two bills this legislative session which aim to close the loophole in this portion of SB91.
Once the courts issue another warrant for Malcolm's arrest, APD can take her into custody again, provided the California native is still in Alaska.
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