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N4T Investigators: Risky Releases

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Since the start of the pandemic, law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in southern Arizona have been taking precautions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  

News 4 Tucson Investigators have been taking a closer look at how criminals are actually being let out of jail, and allowed to commit more dangerous crimes.

As the News 4 Tucson Investigators first reported, for the past eight months, the Pima County Adult Detention Center not been accepting anyone arrested on drug charges. The goal is to keep current inmates at the jail safe. 

But, what about people arrested on other charges? You might be shocked to find out what we discovered.

One Tucson man, who didn't want us to show his face or use his name, lives in the midtown neighborhood where investigators say Moses Mabone, 33, went into a home while the people living there were inside. According to court documents, the women locked themselves in a bathroom and called police.

Officers were able to locate Mabone in a nearby alley and arrest him. He was then booked Pima County Jail. 

On July 1, the Pima County Public Defender's office filed a motion to modify Mabone's conditions of release.   

The eight-page document obtained by the News 4 Tucson Investigators asked a judge to release Mabone on his own recognizance under the supervision of Pre-Trial Services, due to the pandemic, and the need to reduce the number of detainees in the jail to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Mabone was released, and police say, just a few weeks later on Aug. 2 while on release he went into a woman's home, and she awoke to him touching her feet. 

In fact, investigators say the Tucson Police Department has received over a dozen calls regarding Mabone trespassing or unlawfully entering, and remaining in female's homes. Authorities say he has even returned to the same homes, after being arrested and being released from jail.

Mabone is now facing a multiple count indictment and is jailed on a $20,000 bond.

The News 4 Tucson Investigators wanted to find out if the public defender's office stands behind their motion to allow Mabone to get out of jail. We also wanted to find out how many other inmates have been released, the attorney did not want to go on-camera to talk about it.

Paul Birmingham

Paul Birmingham is an Investigative Producer for KVOA News 4 Tucson. He is a three time Edward R. Murrow award winner, native Tucsonan, and a proud Arizona Wildcat.

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