Janesville’s police chief wants to know if the criminal justice system failed a woman authorities say was killed in the Wisconsin Dells by a man who was twice charged in the last year with attacking her.
Police Chief Dave Moore was speaking about Jeremy L. Mondy, who is suspected of killing a Janesville woman after authorities found him Sunday in a Wisconsin Dells hotel room, where the woman was dead.
Rock County prosecutors twice within the past year charged Mondy, 34, with various domestic violence charges for incidents including one where he was accused of threatening to kill the woman.
According to the criminal complaint, he told her at the beginning of February, “I’ll kill you before I go back to jail.”
As of Thursday afternoon, Mondy has not been charged in Columbia County Court in connection to the death.
But the topic has weighed on officials all week, and it came up during Thursday’s county Criminal Justice Coordinating Council meeting.
“I question if we did all we could in this incident,” Moore said.
On Mondy’s most recent case in Rock County, Court Commissioner Stephen Meyer on Feb. 4 ordered a signature bond, and conditions of that bond included no contact with the woman, court records show. He was also given level 2 supervision through JusticePoint, a pretrial supervision program.
Moore said he wants to know what information was available to officials involved with assigning that level of supervision. He mentioned Mondy’s other criminal history, which he said included federal drug charges.
Moore said level 2 was a “standard assessment,” and he said Mondy was released from custody even though “the violence” by Mondy toward the victim was “escalating.”
He also wanted to know what follow-up took place in the nine or 10 days between Mondy’s release and the Feb. 14 killing.
In the misdemeanor domestic case filed in connection to a late March 2020 incident, Mondy also was given a signature bond by Court Commissioner Jack Hoag—again with a condition not to contact the woman.
Bond and bail have for years been a topic of reform within the criminal justice system, both locally and nationally. Concerns have been raised the system can let wealthier defendants out while poorer defendants are forced to sit in custody, including for minor offenses unrelated to public safety.
Moore acknowledged the work that has been done by the council and other related groups on evidence-based decision-making practices and how too many low-level offenders are held in custody when other alternatives would be more effective.
“I think all of us have embraced that position,” he said.
But Moore also said that within those efforts “dangerous offenders” still should be held accountable and “dealt with in a manner that provides safety for our community and safety for our victims.”
Moore tried to make a motion to have the council recommend a person or people to review the decisions in the case—an effort that Sheriff Troy Knudson seconded—but the council could not legally take the action on the item because it was not listed on the agenda.
District Attorney David O’Leary said putting the item on the agenda for the group’s next meeting would be in accordance with open meetings laws.
Kelly Mattingly, the chair of the council, and Judge Barbara McCrory stepped away from discussing the matter because of their involvement with the case as Mondy’s attorney and the judge who was to hear the case.
McCrory did later add that perhaps a review of the case could be broadened to the topic of domestic violence generally. Moore said he supported that idea because a “deep dive” into the Mondy case could lead officials to find other ways to improve the system overall.
The council will next meet at 3 p.m. March 18.
This story was updated at 5:48 p.m. Thursday with more details from the discussion.