HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A devastated family says their son was killed in a crash with a drunk driver who should’ve never been on the road.
They’re blaming bail reform for putting him there, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported Tuesday.
Walking out of the medical examiner’s office, the heartbroken mother and stepfather of victim Jonathan Flores-Maldonado had just been told their son was the first fatality linked to the new state criminal justice reform law.
“We just identified him and his remains, so that he can be released to be cremated and that’s all because of a bail reform law,” Philip Beyernheimer said.
Jordan Randolph, who was released Jan. 1 with an appearance ticket for interfering with his ignition interlock device, had three prior DWI convictions before he allegedly drove drunk again. This time the crash Sunday was fatal, claiming the life of the SUNY-Buffalo graduate.
“He has affected everyone that he has ever made contact with in a very positive way. It’s not only a loss to family and friends, but he’s a loss to the world,” said Lillian Flores, the victim’s mother.
According to court records, Randolph has six felony convictions, six misdemeanor convictions, and five failures to appear in court.
On Monday, the suspect was once again released on his own recognizance.
“So I’m asking Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo, now is not the time to dig your heels in. You have to do a 180 on this because how many deaths do you really want for good, hard-working citizens,” said Carolyn Beyernheimer, the victim’s cousin.
“Jonathan was the first. Let him be the last,” Lillian Flores said.
The family said criminal justice reform should begin by granting judges the power to consider public safety before releasing a suspect back onto the street.
The felony complaint reads: “The defendant attempted to flee the scene on foot. After taking a few steps, the defendant fell to the ground, where he was placed in custody.”
“It’s time to say, hey, you know what? We made a mistake. Now, let’s correct it before this tragedy happens to somebody else,” Philip Beyernheimer said.
Flores-Maldonado, a pre-med major, social advocate and environmentalist, had plans to work with Doctors Without Borders. He was saving for a ring, and about to announce his engagement and plans to start a family, McLogan reported.
“And that will never come to be because of one law that we let slip through the books,” Philip Beyernheimer said.
Suspect Randolph has several upcoming court dates. Flores-Maldonado’s family will be there.
On Monday, Gov. Cuomo told CBS2 changes need to be made to the new bail reform law. It’s just a question of exactly what those changes will be.