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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Charlotte's Crime/ Murder Rate Continues To Climb Higher & Higher & Higher....

Overnight Murder Is Charlotte's Fifth Homicide In Five Days

Charlotte's soaring Homicide rate grew again Thursday night with the shooting death of a man on the northwest side of the city.

It was the fifth Homicide in five days, and it increased Charlotte's Homicide total to 28 for the year. That is about double the total of last year at this time.

On Thursday afternoon, police identified the man as Jermain Marque McJunkin, 23.

As has been the case with most recent killings, police say McJunkin's death was not a random act of violence.

And the shooting apparently touched off several fights at the crime scene.

Police were called shortly before 11 p.m. to the West Down Apartments, in the 300 block of Mattoon Street, off Beatties Ford Road. Police say they were called to deal with an assault with a deadly weapon, but they arrived to find McJunkin dead near the street.

Officers spent much of the night questioning several witnesses, and they indicated McJunkin apparently knew his attackers.

WBTV video coverage of the investigation showed several apparent fights that broke out after the shooting. WBTV also is reporting that the fights involved members of two families who were upset about the killing.

Mattoon Street and nearby streets on the other side of the Brookshire Freeway have been the scene of several gang-related shootings in recent years, and police have been working with Community Leaders to help curb gang activity in the area.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sheriff: Crime Could Go Up Because Of Harsh Budget Cuts

Anticipated budget cuts could eliminate three programs at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office that are meant to keep you safe.

Sheriff Chipp Bailey says he has $7.4 million less to work with this year compared to last year under the county's current budget scenario.

On Tuesday, 51 sheriff's office employees received reduction in force notices, or pink slips.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg County's Work Release and Restitution program is expected to be eliminated.

On a typical day, 80 to 100 people work by day, or look for work, and spend the night at work release where they're tested for drugs and alcohol.

"It accomplishes lifestyle changes for these individuals," said Bailey.

Bailey says offender recidivism rates for people in work release could go up with the program gone. Right now, Bailey says that rate is 32 percent for people in work release compared to 70 percent for offenders in jail not getting help.

Bailey also expects to pull the plug on electronic monitoring under next year's current budget proposal. The sheriff's office currently has 67 very low-risk offenders wearing ankle bracelets.

Now, Bailey is asking Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to take it over. If that doesn't happen, those offenders could end up back in jail.

Bailey says, overall, it is possible crime could go up, especially if less money means fewer punishment options.

"In the long run, if people sit in jail and aren't provided treatment programs and educational programs and those kinds of things, then they are going to turn to what they know and they're going to survive. And if surviving means committing crime, then that's what they are going to do," Bailey said.

The third program eliminated under the budget scenario would be the work crew -- inmates that clean up roads, parks and school yards -- because the deputies who watch them have been let go.

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Sources:, McClatchy Newspapers, WCNC, Google Maps

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