Thursday, May 15, 2014

"Fighting Judge" Fred Karasov Lowers The Boom On Deontray Vershon Tate, Who Shot A Four-Year-Old Boy In The Leg, Judge Dishes Out Maximum Sentence!

Mugshot, therefore public domain, Deontray Vershon Tate, blog post
by John Hoff

Deontray Vershon Tate graced the pages of this blog in July of 2013, in a story about a triple shooting that injured a four-year-old boy in the lower leg; so badly the little boy required surgery to realign the bones. The argument that led to the triple shooting was revenge for a fight between two women. 

Recently, according to a widely-disseminated press release from the office of the Hennepin County District Attorney, (regurgitated at a mainstream media outlet near you!) Mr. Tate had the misfortune to appear before Honorable Judge Fred Karasov.

Regular readers will well remember the name of this judge from...

...the tragic murder of Thomas "Good Samaritan" Sonnenberg. Honorable Judge Karasov had the misfortune of being the judge who released accused killer Devon Derrick Parker a few days before. Parker was supposed to be receiving a prison sentence on the very day he murdered Sonnenberg, allegedly. Compounding the tragedy is the fact Karasov didn't have a reputation of being "soft on crime." This release of Parker didn't point to something wrong with Karasov, but something wrong with the system.

Many a man would be broken by something like this. Some judges might have said to themselves, "I will never touch a criminal case again, not after this. I'm going to find a nice, safe administrative law judge position and rule on how many blueberries can be stuffed in a handmade wicker basket before safe and sanitary shipment," or words to that effect. Many a human being would be broken by what happened, and understandably so.

But Karasov, who has some background with the JAG, is made of much sterner stuff. (And believe me, readers, if I were writing in the sarcasm font you'd see the words "sarcasm font," and you aren't, except for my statement I am NOT typing in the sarcasm font)

After what must have been some soul-searching and "shaking it off," Karasov went right back to the bloody helm and kept steering our ship of justice. When Deontray Vershon Tate came before Karasov, the boom was lowered. A press release from the Hennepin County DA describes what happened:

Shooter sentenced to 25 years for wounding four-year-old, others last summer

A Minneapolis man was sentenced to more than 25 years in prison for shooting three people, including a four-year-old boy,  Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

A Hennepin County District Court jury convicted Deontray Vershon Tate, 35, on two counts of first-degree assault on March 21Friday, Hennepin County District Court Judge Fred Karasov sentenced Tate to 206 months in prison for shooting  the boy and 103 months for the other assault conviction. Judge Karasov ran the sentences consecutively for a total of 309 months in prison. The 206 months was double what the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines called for, but the fact that the victim was an innocent four-year-old trapped in the backseat allowed the judge to impose a harsher sentence.

“These ridiculous, senseless shootings have to end,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “If all other methods to stop gun violence fail, then we will prosecute the shooters aggressively and ask for long sentences. We are grateful that Judge Karasov agreed that Mr. Tate has forfeited his right to walk around in civil society for a very long time.”

Around 9:30 p.m. on June 25, 2013, Tate walked up to the driver’s side of a blue SUV stopped near 3600 Penn Ave. N, in Minneapolis and fired numerous times. He hit the four- year- old boy in the lower leg and the boy had to have surgery to realign the bones. A man was hit in the left buttock and the upper thigh and a second man was hit once below the knee.

The mother of the injured boy, who saw the shooting, identified Tate. She recognized him as the husband of a woman she had fought with earlier in the evening. One of the men who was shot also identified Tate and said the shooting was revenge for the fight between the two women.

Tate was initially charged with first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault. Before the trial, one of the second-degree assaults was amended up to first-degree assault.

(Emphasis and some paragraph breaks added by JNS blog)

This is the point where I call things as I see 'em, and some 3,000 page views a day tell me readers come here exactly for that, so here goes: 

This press release is obviously politically engineered with an eye toward rehabilitating the reputation of Judge Karasov in light of (what can only be called) a mishap with the release of Derrick Parker. But such a tactic behind such a press release is justifiable, and this blog supports it. Judge Fred Karasov is a good judge and if there are hard lessons to be drawn from the release of Parker, then Karasov has appropriately drawn those lessons, IMHO. 

One can hope it won't be ONLY Honorable Judge Karasov that draws the lessons, but the entire Hennepin County bench.

The fact we need a lot of prison reform and much better prison rehabilitation programs, and alternatives to gun violence and bad lifestyle choices, well, these are fish to be fried on another day. (JNS blog has been known to go out of its way to make paperback donations to jails of "positive reading material") 

For now, we have an epidemic of North Minneapolis gun violence and senseless shootings that kill and injure innocent children. The people who commit these crimes are mostly beyond redemption and the best thing, unfortunately, is to put them away until they are too old and decrepit to commit more crimes, and to keep them from making babies to be raised without paternal support. 

God bless Honorable Judge Fred Karasov. It is the official editorial position of Johnny Northside that Hennepin County needs about a dozen like him. 


Anonymous said...

I believe Parker has another court date on May 20. Let's hope that he is quickly convicted of Mr. Sonnenberg's murder and is sentenced to life with no chance of parole. If one can get 25 years for injuring a child, then life is too lenient for a killer.

Johnny Northside! said...

I have added the word "judge" to the part of the headline about "dishes out maximum sentence." While there is probably no doubt in the minds of readers regarding who is dishing out a maximum sentence, in terms of grammar I wanted to make it more clear.

Anonymous said...

It's too wordy. Get your shit together.

Anonymous said...

Get'em Fred...knock'em dead...make them pay for their shit .

Anonymous said...

Justice! He deserves 25 + 25.

Anonymous said...

Now thats justice! Justice for that little boy whos life will never be the same because of a coward and a cowardly senseless act