San Francisco

Victim's Sister Blames Judge for Releasing Suspect 5 Days Before Twin Peaks Shooting

Fantasy Decuir, a 20-year-old San Francisco resident, and Lamonte Mims, a 19-year-old Patterson resident, face charges including murder, second-degree robbery and inflicting injury on an elderly adult in the July 16 fatal shooting of Edward French

A miscalculation may have led to the release of a man who is now suspected of murder.

Fantasy Decuir, 20, and Lamonte Mims, 19, face charges including murder, second-degree robbery and inflicting injury on an elderly adult in the July 16 fatal shooting of Edward French.

Both Decuir and Mims entered not guilty pleas in court on Monday.

Just five days before the murder of French, Mims was in court on a burglary charge and for being a felon in possession of a gun. He could have been held in jail, but instead Judge Sharon Reardon released Mims on a recommendation that is now being investigated.

The shooting that left French dead was on July 16 in San Francisco's popular Twin Peaks.

Prosecutors said they have surveillance video of Decuir shooting French. Mims was with her. Prosecutors also said the shooting happened as they were robbing French of his camera.

Outside of court on Monday French's sister blamed the judge for the murder.

"The judge is as responsible for my brother's death as the people that murdered him," said the victim's sister, Lorrie French.

Lorrie French is furious with Reardon for releasing Mims from jail before the murder. The judge was relying on a report from the pre-trial diversion project, a non-profit operating under the Sheriff's Office that calculates whether a suspect is a flight risk or is likely to return to court.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi said it is better than a straight bail system.

"Although here Mr. Mims was released based on a recommendation from his pretrial assessment tool, it's impossible to predict the future," Adachi said.

The executive director of the diversion project and a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office both told NBC Bay Area they are recalculating the score that led to the release of Mims and investigating what might have been left out.

"And what we've learned, unfortunately is that in this case the scoring in this case there was actually a miscalculation that was done by the agency that does the pre-trial assessment score and actually creates the score to being with," said Max Szabo, a district attorney spokesman.

Sources tell NBC Bay Area what was left out was Mims' previous custody records, the number of times and the length of time he had spent behind bars for previous convictions.

If that information had been included in the calculation, sources said it would be a reasonable assumption that Mims would not have been released five days before French was murdered.

"This man was let out on the street and because of it my brother is dead," Lorrie French said.

While the pre-trial assessment investigation rampus up, the preliminary hearing in the murder case is set for Aug. 24 at San Francisco's Hall of Justice. 

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