Subject of 20-hour standoff came close to release from jail without bail under new state rules
Despite holding police officers at bay for 20 hours a week ago, despite a prior felony conviction, despite alleged mental health and substance abuse issues, under the state's new bail reform rules, Daniel Wolfe could have gotten out of jail today at no cost.
Judge Charles Zambito was only able to set bail in the case because Wolfe allegedly violated a stay-away order of protection by twice trying to contact his girlfriend, whom he allegedly abused Nov. 18 before barricading himself in his apartment at 209 Liberty St., Batavia.
Without the allegation of those phone calls, Zambito would have been forced to release Wolfe under terms of the new bail standards.
The new bail reform guidelines -- designed primarily to address pretrial confinement issues in New York City -- don't take effect until Jan. 1. But First Assistant District Attorney Melissa Cianfrini made her request for bail under the new rules because otherwise Wolfe would be entitled to a bail review Jan. 1, when he's still likely to be in pretrial status awaiting further court proceedings in his case.
In setting the amount of bail, Zambito was allowed to consider other factors in the case that indicate Wolfe's potential to flee the court's jurisdiction. These include: the 20-hour standoff; the potential for a harsher sentence because of Wolfe's 2012 felony conviction; his potential for untreated mental health and substance abuse issues; and the fact he has a relative in Alaska, where he lived for a while in 2012.
Zambito also could take into account the fact that Wolfe doesn't have an apparent place to live now that his apartment is destroyed, though he also needed to consider Wolfe's inability to pay cash bail because he isn't employed.
Zambito set bail at $10,000 cash, $25,000 insurance bond, or $50,000 partially secured bond. Cianfrini requested $25,000 cash bail and Public Defender Jerry Ader requested $5,000 bail.
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