CROWN POINT — A Gary man accused of attempting to murder a relative of a witness set to testify against him violated the terms of his pretrial release and must await a May 13 trial in jail, a judge ruled Thursday.
Jarod Johnson, 22, had been scheduled to stand trial Monday on charges alleging of he shot the witness and her boyfriend June 13, 2017, as they walked away from the Gary Metro Center.
Johnson's trial in that case was delayed Monday after he was arrested on suspicion he and two of his family members abducted the witness's relative late Sunday as she walked along Ridge Road, shot her behind an abandoned Gary home and left her for dead.
The relative survived and told police Jarod Johnson, his brother Jaron Johnson, 20, and their mother Patricia M. Carrington, 46, attempted to kill her because she refused to tell them where to find the witness in the 2017 case.
Jarod Johnson was released from jail in September after multiple delays in his 2017 case. He was placed on house arrest with court-ordered GPS monitoring.
Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez on Thursday found Jarod Johnson violated the terms of his pretrial release by failing to recharge his GPS monitor April 12 and traveling to "unauthorized areas" Saturday through Monday.
One of those unauthorized areas was near the location where the witness's relative was shot at about the same time she was found by police, according to court records.
Vasquez revoked Jarod Johnson's electronic monitoring privileges and ordered him remanded to the jail. The judge set that case for trial May 13.
Jarod Johnson is being held without bail on the attempted murder charges filed this week. Not guilty pleas were entered on behalf of him, his brother and mother during their initial appearances. The three are scheduled for a formal appearance April 26.
Timing of notification questioned
Lake County sheriff’s investigators are probing why it took three hours to be notified by ICU Monitoring Inc. that communications had been lost with Jarod Johnson's monitor, police said.
ICU is a private company that monitors ankle bracelet signals for inmates on court-supervised release.
Sources with knowledge of the investigation told The Times that on April 12, ICU Monitoring lost communication with Johnson’s ankle bracelet at 2 p.m.
When asked about the case Thursday, Sheriff Oscar Martinez confirmed those reports.
He said it took ICU Monitoring nearly three hours to report the issue to the Lake County Jail and Sheriff’s Department. That report came to the jail warden about 4:45 p.m. that day, Martinez said.
That call prompted the Sheriff’s Department to initiate protocols for an escaped inmate.
About two hours later, the department received word from the monitoring company that Johnson had been located at his home and the battery had died on his ankle bracelet.
Martinez confirmed his department is investigating why it took the company nearly three hours to notify his department when the signal to an alleged attempted murderer's ankle bracelet was lost.
"Why weren't we notified immediately?" the sheriff questioned Thursday. "Why did the battery go dead? These are all matters we're investigating."
Company says protocol followed
ICU Monitoring President Herb Smith said his company followed longstanding protocol established in cooperation with Lake County judges and law enforcement agencies.
An employee of ICU Monitoring testified Thursday the company attempted to call Jarod Johnson and his contacts. When that was unsuccessful, a field officer went to the address Jarod Johnson listed as his home.
Johnson wasn't there, said ICU case manager Rolando Rodriguez.
The company filed an initial escape report after that visit. Later, the company succeeded in reaching one of Johnson's contacts, and Johnson eventually called the company, Rodriguez said.
The field officer went back to the home and found Johnson's ankle monitor was not properly charged, he said.
The building where Johnson is authorized to live includes two residences, one at the front and one at the rear, he said.
Johnson failed to properly identify which residence was his, so the field officer went to the wrong residence during the first visit, he said.
Johnson previously was accused of traveling to an unauthorized area, Rodriguez said. The company filed papers with the court Feb. 2 indicating Johnson had been arrested by Gary police, records show.
Smith said the company responded appropriately to the loss of communication April 12.
"We did our job," he said. "And our tracking records at the time where he allegedly did something pinpoints him in the vicinity."
ICU Monitoring met with the judges about a year ago to review protocol, he said.
"There are protocols that have been established for a long time, and we follow them to the letter," he said. "Now, if anyone wants to change that, we’re happy to do that. We’ll do whatever they need us to do, We work with them."