Judge refuses to press charges in Sureshbhai Patel attack before it happened

On Friday, authorities announced they had arrested the alleged attacker in the racially-motivated killing of a 70-year-old Indian immigrant at a Wisconsin city’s Thanksgiving parade.

But Darrell Lee Jenkins, the man accused of running down and fatally stabbing Sureshbhai Patel, received a little comfort from one well-placed person before the deadly incident occurred: The one person who agreed to grant him bond in the robbery of his truck.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the 65-year-old Jenkins did not appear in court on Friday for his first appearance, following his arrest for the robbery of his truck on Thursday, after the van he was driving was stopped by a police officer. Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel announced Friday morning that his office had recommended Jenkins be charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Mr. Patel’s death, before additional officers at the scene found Jenkins hiding in nearby bush, who was charged for driving away with Mr. Patel in the van.

On Friday, shortly after Jenkins was arrested and later charged, Schimel refused to press charges against a second suspect in the theft of Jenkins’ truck, citing a lack of evidence for robbery. The Journal Sentinel explains the details behind the case:

The next day, Ellis County District Attorney Nick Trosset filed an affidavit with Schimel’s office outlining the piecemeal decision to dismiss theft charges against the suspect who had a brief encounter with police near where Jenkins was arrested: Bernard J. Jenson Jr. “What are the facts?” Schimel asked the reporter. “The facts are, the DA brought Jenson to our office with one thing in mind: The complaint was about you taking Robbins’ truck.” And so, he said, it was dropped. It was because of the “issues of witnesses” and other factors. Not because of the alleged criminal acts of Jenkins, who was arrested with the accuser in a targeted robbery.

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While the case was pending, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, Schimel had acted at times in an unusual manner, skipping his usual routine of notifying county judges about misdemeanor charges being filed. Though Jenson had claimed he was in the trunk of Jenkins’ pickup and was forced to buy a litre of alcohol from Jenkins, Schimel decided to dismiss the charges that could have sent Jenkins to prison.

“We didn’t have the facts,” Schimel told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We didn’t have the situation to seek a conviction.”

Sources: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WSET, NBC

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