Landlady questions strength of state's Pretrial supervision
An Anchorage property owner is calling into question the quality of the State Pretrial Enforcement Division's (PED) supervision of people who are charged with crimes and released before trial after she says a man out on PED supervision has been living in her condo without authorization.
Barbara Bachmeier says based on what she saw during a home inspection and statements from neighbors, she believes Leslie D'Sean Harris, 42, is living in her condo, which she rents to a female tenant who is the only person authorized to live there.
According to an Anchorage Police Department arrest report, Harris was arrested at Bachmeier's condo at Romig Place on August 3 for a misdemeanor domestic violence assault charge.
The case stems from an alleged attack in which a woman claims Harris, who she said is her ex-boyfriend, punched her in the face three times then punched her in the torso after she had fallen to the ground, after accusing her of cheating on him. A court document says the alleged victim sustained a broken rib and bruising.
"This is a quiet little community for this condo association and having someone arrested for assault - domestic violence - is kind of a big deal, and it's something none of us want," said Bachmeier.
She showed KTVA a video in which she can be heard confronting a man she says is Harris outside the door of the condo and asking him whether he is living there.
"No, I am not," he can be heard saying.
According to Harris' release paperwork, the female tenant in Bachmeier's condo, -- who is not the alleged victim in the case against Harris -- paid his $1,000 cash performance bond.
Harris is now out on court-ordered PED supervision with electronic monitoring. His conditions of release include having no contact with the alleged victim, following all court orders and municipal, state, and federal laws, and informing his attorney, PED officer, or the court of any change of address within the next business day.
Harris listed a home on Coachmen Circle in Midtown as his mailing address and where he would be living on the release paperwork, but Tuesday, a man at the home said Harris did not live there. A woman later followed up with a phone call to explain he has been known to use that address on paperwork, but he is not currently residing there.
The APD arrest report lists Bachmeier's condo, where Harris was arrested, as his current address.
In the video, the man Bachmeier says is Harris throws out a third residence possibility saying, "No, I don't live here, I live in Muldoon."
His listed address is not the only claim on his release paperwork that doesn't check out. Harris listed "Mike's Sales and Service" as his employer, but a quick google search and a check of the State's business license database shows that business does not currently exist.
KTVA reached out to the most similar google search result, Alaska Sales and Service Anchorage, which confirmed they do not employ a Leslie Harris.
"I would like him gone, but I would also like the Department of Corrections to take a clearer look, a better look, as to how they allow people to be released," said Bachmeier.
She said she took her concerns about Harris to PED, but was not met with much help. In a letter addressed to her representatives, Bachmeier describes her conversation with PED Deputy Director Peter Harrison:
"Harrison told me that the scope of the PED authority did not involve following up on Harris' release paperwork. I asserted that supervision of Harris is withing the scope of PED's authority and that I expected PED to actively supervise Harris. When I asked, Harrison told me that Harris is on an [electronic monitoring device]. As this device, properly used, would reveal the places Harris frequents and lives, I said this would be an easy way to determine whether Harris is residing at my condo, without my permission, or elsewhere. Harrison told me he would look into this particular question and arrange for "somebody" to call me back that day. He told me it was 3:45 p.m. and he was busy."
Bachmeier said PED has not communicated to her whether data from the electronic monitoring device Harris is supposed to be wearing confirms his place of residence, and the issue has not been resolved.
Wednesday, in an email to KTVA, Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Megan Edge wrote:
Mr. Harris has been compliant with his supervision conditions, ordered by the courts, since being placed on Pretrial Enforcement Division supervision August 2, 2018.
The courts ordered he be placed on a GPS monitor, which he was set up on before being released from custody. As part of the order, he had an exclusion zone -- an area in which he could not enter and tracked by the EM device. He has not violated that order.
Prior to his release, he gave our pretrial officers a home address, which was confirmed. He did change his address, which PED was made aware of, confirmed, and documented.
An eviction process is a civil matter and is not under the jurisdiction of the Pretrial Enforcement Division. A pretrial officer's duty is to enforce a pretrial defendants release conditions and to hold those defendants accountable.
As far as employment goes, we do ask defendants placed on pretrial supervision if they are currently employed. However, pretrial defendants are not under legal obligation to be employed.
"My whole concern is that the community thinks when people are on pretrial release that there's accountability, there's supervision, everything should be okay, but in my limited experience, now I don't believe that's true," said Bachmeier.
Bachmeier said Wednesday that she is not satisfied with the DOC's response. She said she wants to know that the State is actually watching the people it claims to be supervising, and vetting defendant's claims of residency and employment.
KTVA requested to learn the number of home visits made by PED to check in on Harris since his release on August 5. That question was not answered by the DOC's emailed statement, and subsequent emails to Edge have gone unanswered.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include a response from the Department of Corrections.