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Monday, May 28, 2018
HomeBriefsBang, bang: She’s out and on the lam

Bang, bang: She’s out and on the lam

A California woman who was involved in a mid-day gunfight outside an Anchorage mall on Jan. 27, and who ran from officers to evade capture, was released on her own recognizance, due to lenient standards set by Senate Bill 91.

Now she’s skipped her court date, which was this afternoon.

Jessica Malcolm is a 26-year-old, tatted-up felon who allegedly came to Anchorage to visit family. As a felon, she’s not allowed to own a gun. She had a Glock on her and a magazine with with 30 rounds of ammunition when police finally arrested her in late January.

Hawkins

Police said a group of people got into an altercation in the parking lot of the Shockwave Trampoline Parks at the Northway Mall.

“At some point during the altercation, the suspects used gunfire to address the issue they were having with each other. Several shots were fired damaging vehicles parked in the area. No one was injured. As officers with the Patrol Division responded to the scene, the suspects fled. Three of the suspects fled in an SUV and crashed near Rodeo Place. They got out and took off running towards Bragaw Street. Officers caught the suspects in a parking lot near the post office. They were taken into custody, arrested and transported to jail,” according to police.

Malcolm was charged with a Class C felony — felon in possession of a firearm.

[Read: Bang, bang, you’re out of jail]

But in Alaska, she had no prior criminal record. After her arrest, she was let out of jail on her own recognizance. The pre-trial risk assessment tool judged her to be a low-risk release.

How low did she score on the risk assessment?

On a scale of zero-10, she scored zero.

Why so low?

The tool only considers criminal history from Alaska, and Malcolm had just arrived from California two weeks prior to the shooting, in which no one was hurt.

Where is she now?

The judge issued a warrant for Malcolm’s arrest.

What’s the background on the catch-and-release part of SB 91?

Gov. Walker signed SB 91 into law in 2016, and it radically changed how justice is served in Alaska. Fewer people spend time incarcerated under its provisions.

[Read: University of Alaska Justice Center summary of SB 91]

The SB 91 automated bail system went into effect on Jan. 1, 2018. Conditions of release are done via a computer algorithm  and the system added  a huge new Department of Corrections Pre-Trial Enforcement Division, with 65 new armed state personnel assigned to it.

These officers conduct the pretrial risk assessments. The system is said to be “color blind,” and therefore racially neutral.

Typically, only those who score a 10 on the risk assessment are held in jail before trial, although a judge can take other conditions into account.

Two of the other defendants in the shootout have also been released. Tajean Grant-McKay is out after posting bail, even though he had a prior warrant for his arrest at the time of the shootout on Jan. 27. Ebon Moore also bonded out.

Update/clarification: Some defendants charged with low level or non-violent offenses, and who are assessed as low risk, are required to be released without having to pay money bail.

When a defendant is released without paying bail, a judge may impose “conditions of release” on the defendant.

In the case of Malcolm, the judge could have imposed an unsecured bond (a promise to pay money if she failed on release), and/or ordered her to be supervised by the pretrial enforcement division, and other conditions.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • It’s a wonder anyone is in jail. Wish Walker was.

  • Keep on truckin, I try follow whrn I can, Juneau is robbing the poor blind with this PFD nonsense….

    Look at one of the parables in the bible, about the rich man who gave 50 pieces of silver and the poor woman who gave only 1…

    Shw gave more because it was all she had…

    No one is standing for the disproportionent amount of tax the poor pay when referencing the PFD, it’s all some folks have.

  • And all because Alaskans sent complete idiots to Juneau….

  • Just another case of idiots thinking that being lawmakers is like being godly law givers. When this news broke no one would put money on this woman showing up for her hearing. Is she even in the state? The idiocy of how this law was written is beyond any understanding. This woman was charged as a felon in possession of a weapon at the scene of a shooting by definition constitutes a danger to the community. We come first not the law breakers our safety not the convenience of the state.

  • I wonder if a Federal Warrant to the US Marshall’s has been done by the US Attorney General?

  • I hope all of you have noticed what happens when you put democrats in charge. To reduce the crime rate, we no longer arrest the criminals, so there is no crime and the crime rate goes down. Mission accomplished. Doesn’t matter that citizens are being assaulted, raped robbed, murdered and who knows what else. In a matter of two hours last week, my daughter was rammed in her car four times by a silver Chrysler Cirrus with no rear window, totaling her car. We found the Cirrus(not the police), it had current plates, body damage with my daughter paint still on the car, reported this information to the police and they totally ignored it. Two hours after that incident, my daughter sons girlfriend was in her parents home on the hillside when 6 masked thugs armed with automatic weapons and pistols forced their way into their home, pistol whipped her 17 year old brother, handcuffed her and demanded that they open a safe in the house. They did not know the combination, so the criminals left. All this was reported to the Anchorage police, again no action taken. All because Anchorage is a sanctuary city and the democrats are in control. They won’t be satisfied until Anchorage is the equivalent of Chicago, Detroit and Washington DC with the most murders per capita in the US. Fire all the bast—s !!!!!

    • Uh, SB 91 was create and heavily pushed by no other than republican Senator John Coghilll.

  • The sunny side of the thieves in Juneau keeping the PFD is that maybe people like this and their families will no longer come north- and leave.

  • Look at the upside. She won’t be seen in Alaska ever again. That is a better outcome than having to try her and then keep her fed in the slammer.

  • To All Voters:

    Get informed. Understand the issues. Vote with knowledge. I hope it happens, but I am not optimistic.