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Prosecutor says Yates man dies before trial because of state mandated bail reform changes

Yates County District Attorney Todd Casella is blaming New York’s bail reform for a man’s death before trail for a series of burglaries that occurred in late-2019.

Christopher Hearn, 35, of Rochester and Michael Carr, 34, of Macedon were charged in a 13 count indictment. Both were charged with three counts of second-degree burglary, four counts of third-degree burglary, three counts of fourth-degree grand larceny, and two counts of misdemeanor petit larceny.

Most of the charges were felonies.

They’re accused of breaking into homes on Briggs Road, another on Middle Road, and yet another on Route 364. Approximately $4,000 to $5,000 was stolen in different kinds of property, according to The Chronicle-Express.

Hearn was also involved in a pursuit at one point, which was called off in Monroe County due to the city of Rochester’s no pursuit policy.

Hearn pleaded guilty and was remanded to the Yates County Jail in lieu of $35,000 cash bail or $70,000 secured bond. Casella told the Chronicle-Express that all that changed on New Years Eve, when the laws changed – and required that even those facing the kinds of charges Hearn did – be released.

While the legal process was playing out – deputies were called to Hearn’s current address on Vine Street in Dundee. He was found dead of an apparent drug overdose, according to Cassella.

That happened on Thursday, and could have been preventable, according to the prosecutor.

“This is an absolutely foreseeable consequence of the State’s bail reform law,” Casella told the Chronicle-Express. “He was safe in jail, clean from early October, but because he was released, now he’s dead. He was in court just days before his death, but now there is no justice for his victims or him, and his family is planning a funeral.”