Suspects with Criminal History Off the Streets

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By Sam Jones
By Ben Jeffords

CARBONDALE -- Authorities in Jackson County have arrested two suspects they're all too familiar with, leaving some to wonder why they were on the loose.

The men were taken into custody this past weekend. Police pulled over Jeremy Clark and Andre Bailey on a routine traffic stop. Officers say they found a gun and drugs in the car.
 
Police were already familiar with Bailey and Clark from an incident last July.  Investigators say Bailey shot at someone from a car. He was charged with attempted murder. Clark was a passenger in the vehicle and was also arrested. But just a few months later, the felony charges were dropped, and now there are questions about why they were allowed back on the streets.
 
"It should be scary to our whole community. It should be something that all of us should pay attention to," said community activist Van Ikner
 
The traffic stop by Carbondale police happened Saturday night in the 300 block of East Walnut Street.
 
"With Andre Bailey and Jeremy Clark it was able to get a gun off the street just by a simple traffic infraction which led to multiple charges," said Carbondale police spokesman Corey Kemp.
 
Officers say they found a loaded gun and suspected crack cocaine in the vehicle. They arrested the driver, Clark, on a warrant from Pulaski County and Bailey on weapon and drug charges.
 
It was not their first brush with the law.
 
"Just because one person commits a crime doesn't mean they're a criminal for life, but yes we do experience repeat offenders," Kemp told News 3.
 
Clark and Bailey got into trouble last summer for allegedly shooting at a pedestrian on East Grand. Investigators say Bailey fired the shots at someone he was feuding with, but by the beginning of December the charges were dropped.
 
Ikner says he's relieved to hear the men are back in custody.
 
"That is an intervention we can all be thankful for," he said.
 
But for him, the case raises concerns about prosecution of violent crimes.
 
"We have a group of nonviolent offenders who get zealously prosecuted, and then we have a group of violent offenders that in some terms, some sentences walk away with lighter sentences," Ikner reflected.
 
"Once we have probable cause and they're arrested, we send the case to the state's attorney's office, and they review it for charges from there. If they work out plea deals with the states attorney that's their decision," explained Kemp.
 
Ikner hopes attorneys and judges remember the community when dealing with cases like this.
 
We reached out to the Jackson County state's attorney Tuesday for comment on the case, but did not hear back.
 
Both Clark and Bailey remain in the Jackson County Jail.
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