The bounty hunter accused of shooting a man at his Palm Springs home last month was sent to arrest him because he disabled a GPS monitor he was required to wear as part of his bailout deal. bail, the bail agency’s lawyer said.
One of the attorneys representing bailiff Melissa Lippert previously told the Desert Sun that Judge Bail Bonds, Lippert’s company, did not hire directlybounty hunter Fabian Herrera to stop David Spann. A second lawyer representing Lippert now says Judge Bail Bonds wanted Spann arrested and contracted with a bounty hunting agency, Jose Novarro Bail Bonds, who was working with another agency that sent Herrera to arrest Spann.
“[Spann] either deactivate or cut off the electronic monitoring device which was supposed to guarantee that he would appear in court and which was a condition for his release from detention, âsaid lawyer Michael Ellis.
Spann’s family have expressed frustration over the lack of accountability and public information linked to David Spann’s fatal shooting, saying the surety industry and authorities have left them in the dark. Spann’s family have constantly questioned why Herrera, a double criminal, was sent to arrest Spann, and by whom.
Court records, prison records, and interviews reveal the complex work practices shared by about a half-dozen different private and public officers and agencies involved in the administration of the David Spann and the surety shortly before his death.
After: ‘Everyone seems to be pointing fingers’: victim’s family want answers in case of bounty hunter
Spann, 33, was fatally shot in his Via Escuela Est condominium on April 23. Herrera and her mother, Lisa Vargas, have been charged with murder. Herrera pleaded not guilty; Vargas isis expected to appear in court on Friday.
Prior to the shooting, Herrera told Palm Springs Police he was a bail officer who was going to arrest Spann, who was a fugitive, Chief Bryan Reyes reported. California law prohibits convicted felons such as Herrera from serving as a bail officer, and Herrera was not licensed as such. California law also prohibits convicted felons from owning a firearm.
No license is required for bounty hunters, although they are expected to take a course before entering the profession. According to his lawyer, Herrera had taken the required course.
Spann was charged in early April with an offense for allegedly violating a restraining order related to a domestic dispute. He was released on $ 100,000 bail. But by the time he was shot and killed, he had not failed to show up for a court hearing and no arrest warrant had been issued for his arrest.
Shortly after Herrera called the Palm Springs Police Department, the Police Department dispatched officers to the house after receiving several additional calls made by Spann, an alarm company, and another from Herrera.
Palm Springs Police Lt. William Hutchinson reported that at least two officers were involved in an altercation inside the house involving Spann.A post on the police department’s Facebook page said Spann was wielding a knife and Herrera was armed with a gun. Officers deployed a taser and Herrera fired the fatal shot, authorities reported.
Print Subscription Offer: Have the Desert Sun delivered daily for $ 3 per week for 3 months
Ellis’ claim about the disabled GPS monitor is the first explanation for Hererra’s presence at Spann’s home provided by the surety agency responsible for Spann’s bail.
The Desert Sun obtained a copy of Spann’s bond, filed in Riverside County Superior Court on April 2. The bond was issued by Paul Quinones of Fausto’s Bail Bonds and underwritten by Bankers Insurance.
Spann’s family provided the Desert Sun with text messages indicating that Spann was working to administer his surety agreement with Lippert, a licensed surety agent, owner of Justice Bail Bonds and a regional manager of the surety division of Bankers Insurance.
Ellis provided documents indicating that after Fausto’s bail bonds served as a secondment agent, Spann’s bail was transferred to Justice Bail Bonds for administration.
âThe use of a secondment officer is extremely common practice in the surety industry,â said Ellis. âWhat often happens is that the surety company that agrees to post a bond on behalf of a defendant may not have an agent available to physically carry the documents to the prison where a defendant is located. “
He added that in this case: “Ms. Lippert asked Fausto’s bail bonds a favor to use one of their agents to post bail on Mr. Spann and paid the detachment officer for running to jail and do it.”
Lippert and Fausto Atilano Jr., the owner of Fausto’s bonds, got married in 2016. Court records show Atilano filed for divorce in late 2017.
Spann was released from the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio on April 2, according to prison records. Ellis provided a copy of an “Electronic Monitoring Addendum to Bail Application and Agreement,” apparently signed by Spann.
Bankers Insurance demanded that Spann carry an electronic monitoring device provided by a company called Outlaw Compliance and monitored by Justice Bail Bonds and his representatives, according to the agreement.
Spann was to allow one of the parties involved access to his “person and premises” to inspect the device and was to pay the costs to the vendor of the device. If he did not comply with the agreement, according to the agreement, Bankers Insurance had “the right to apprehend, stop and surrender immediately. [Spann]. “
Ellis said Judge Bail Bonds returned Spann’s bail and ordered him to be arrested after his electronic monitoring device was disabled for “several days.”
âMr. Spann had several ongoing issues to comply,â Ellis added.
Judge Bail Bonds had an agreement with Jose Novarro Bail Bonds, an agency working primarily in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, to apprehend Spann. Ellis added that Judge Bail Bonds knew that Novarro, who is both a licensed bail agent and a certified bounty hunter, would then work with another company on the actual arrest.
âThe deal was that Novarro would use a specific surety collection company to do the collection,â Ellis said.
Novarro also described his role as that of an âintermediaryâ who forwarded the arrest request to Jose Sosa, another bounty hunter.
Ellis and Novarro both identified the second bounty hunter agency as Alpha Legion Recovery. The Desert Sun has not been able to independently confirm the existence of Alpha Legion Recovery, and Sosa has denied its existence, saying, “We are all working for ourselves.”
Herrera’s defense attorney, Raj Maline, said his client recently completed a course from the California Commission on Standards and Training for Peace Officers in Arrest Practices, required by law of l ‘State to work as a bounty hunter. He had also completed a pre-licensing bailout course and was a member of the National Association of Fugitive Salvage Officers. This business group has since suspended Herrera’s membership because he did not identify himself as a criminal in the application.
When asked why Judge Bail Bonds did not perform a background check of the bounty hunters to whom he passed his arrest requests, Ellis replied: “It is the responsibility of this company to do a background check of their employees. “
Christopher Damien covers crime, public safety and the criminal justice system. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him at @chris_a_damien.
Read or share this story: https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/crime_courts/2021/05/26/palm-springs-bounty-hunter-case-attorney-says-gps-disabled/7448799002/