July 2, 2019: Twenty-nine-year-old Jordan Marshall Burge of Summerville, South Carolina was arrested on a charge of Trafficking Methamphetamine, and was quickly released on personal recognizance bond by Magistrate John C. Kenney of the Centralized Bond Hearing Court located in North Charleston.
This newly earned charge reflects a similar case from two weeks earlier — precisely when Mr. Burge was arrested on a count of Manufacturing and Distribution of Methamphetamine — to which he was released from jail on personal recognizance bond by Magistrate John Kenney again.
Mr. Burge’s criminal record stretches back to 2006. But he was arrested in Dorchester County only two months before his June arrest with a charge of Giving False Information to Law Enforcement earned in April 2019. He pleaded guilty via bench trial just over two months later.
And to make matters worse, Mr. Burge was issued a bench warrant for failing to appear in court for the above charges, including a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia offense earned the same day.
It all began with an arrest on November 10, 2006, when Mr. Burge was slapped with a charge of Supplying a Minor with Tobacco or Cigarettes. Three months later, he was found guilty by bench trial.
Nearly nine years later Mr. Burge was jailed on a felony Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury charge, and he was finally found guilty in January 2017 after a long court battle.
Despite two separate bench warrants and a nearly identical drug charge in just two weeks, Mr. Kenney displayed an unethical application of judgement not only reflected with the above, but in also failing to set a single bond condition for Mr. Burge’s release. This sets a negative precedent that could have ripple effects in similar decisions.
With two drug offenses simultaneously, it would have been prudent of Mr. Kenney to recommend a stay at one of Charleston’s own drug rehabilitation facilities. And although he didn’t make a choice best-suited for Mr. Burge, he can preserve his reputation and the integrity of the legal process in future cases while withstanding to cave to outside influences.
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