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Questions asked after judge releases defendants from custody

Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu let a suspect with a violent past out of jail for a funeral furlough, but then he disappeared.

MINNEAPOLIS — At just 18 years old, Shevirio Childs-Young already has a lengthy history of violent crime, weapons violations and skipping court hearings.

He was last charged in late November, with having a loaded pistol with an extended magazine in his car after previously being ordered by a judge not to have firearms.

Then last week, Judge Regina Chu decided to let Childs-Young out of jail to go to a funeral. He was supposed to be back three hours later, but he never returned to jail.

"There's no reason. There's compassion from the public, but we're talking about repeat, serious offenders. And this is what law enforcement has been saying. There has to be accountability across the entire system," said former Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

Stanek says police, prosecutors, probation officers and judges all need to be in sync to reduce violent crime. And right now, that just isn't happening.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office says they weren't informed about Judge Chu's furlough for Childs-Young.

Another recent case that went before Judge Chu illustrates that lack of sync between criminal justice system agencies.

Last week, Shawn Coates was charged with multiple felonies after court papers say he rammed his truck into a fire station while chasing someone, and then fought with firefighters who tried to stop him.

Despite opposition from the Hennepin County attorney, Judge Chu released Coates without bail on the condition he stays away from Fire Station 8 and the two victims.

"The judge had an opportunity to put up a $20,000 bail with the same conditions. She chose not to. She has to be accountable for her actions and decisions as well," Stanek said.

KARE 11 reached out to Judge Chu about these cases, but a court spokesman said the Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct prevents her from making any public statement about the pending cases.

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