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ONLY ON 3: Columbus County bondsman says unsecured bonds are out of control

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Columbus County bondsman says unsecured bonds are out of control

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A bond is supposed to keep criminal suspects behind bars. But, in the last four months, hundreds of people in Columbus County, including some with violent charges, have been issued unsecured bonds.

A two-inch stack of unsecured bonds includes crimes like drug trafficking, sexual battery and assault on a child under 12. When placed under an unsecured bond the defendant is trusted to appear in court on the assigned date and to stay away from their alleged victims.

Judge Douglas Sesser and Judge Jerry Jolly drew up the new bail policy for Columbus and Bladen counties in May. Mark Cartret, who owns a bail bonds office in Columbus County, says he hasn't seen a policy as liberal as this in any other district. He says before the new policy was implemented, unsecured bonds accounted for about 25 to 30 percent of bonds issued. In the past few months, Cartret says the amount of unsecured bonds has exploded.

“I have approximately 1,000 unsecured bonds that I’m looking at, which correlates to approximately 97.2 percent of bonds that are issued by magistrates in Columbus County," said Cartret.

Under the new policy, to issue a secured bond, magistrates must fill out a three-page questionnaire on each defendant, making it a more cumbersome process. Cartret says the policy makes it much easier for magistrates to issue unsecured bonds.

“So to tell a magistrate, who is often working long shifts, that they've got to do three pages of additional paperwork to issue secure bonds is almost a burden on them," said Cartret.

We did speak with Judge Sasser who says he modeled the policy after the North Carolina general statute. He says he trusts the magistrates to make the right decision in determining what kind of bond to issue.

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Poor Frog, everyone's favorite weasel and leading candidate for the Forrest Gump "Stupid is as Stupid does" award sits under a $25 million secured bond.

That's not right in lieu of the serious charges which result in unsecured bonds.

Pope and Sasser

Didn't this judge Sasser work with Butch Pope's firm? Isn't that the same firm that represented the cop killers that murdered Cpl. Bob Hinson? Also didn't this firm Sasser was a partner with represent Fuzzy Best, the guy that murdered the Baldwin family after raping the 80 year old lady in front of her husband? Maybe he is too soft on crime and could care less about the side of the victims. Maybe he is reaching out like the OJ Simpson jury did and paying society and the system back. I am just saying.

Mark Cartret appears to be a

Mark Cartret appears to be a greedy bail bondsman who is whining because he wants to make more money. I am conservative and I believe in America!

The Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits the imposition of excessive bail. The NC Constitution has a similar prohibition. Furthermore, this traditional right to freedom before conviction allows the unhampered preparation of a defense, prevents the infliction of punishment prior to conviction, preserves the constitutional presumption of innocence, which was secured only after centuries of struggle, and saves taxpayers money. Taxpayers have supported enough prisoners.

The judges are following the law while also protecting the taxpayers and the public. After a review, there are conditions placed on every bond. The only thing Cartret is whining about is that he wants another commission and more money for his pockets.

Mark Cartret is not greedy

If you talk of Mark lining his pockets and claim like in your other posting he is greedy< consider this:

In 2004 he, at his own expense(nearly $20,000) filed suit against another Columbus County Judge, Thomas Aldridge. Cartret filed on behalf of a poor black lady which the good judge, the da, and the sheriff had mistreated. Mark only lost after the NC Supreme Court cited he "lacked standing" which is a bull of a technicality. If the lady had of filed, the Judge would have been most likely disbarred. Corruption runs rampant in Columbus but one thing is for sure, the Mark Cartret I know is not greedy. It is very easy to fight with words but all to often much harder to dispute the facts.

CARTRET v. ALDRIDGE - August 12, 2004.
Aug 12, 2004 – Mark W. CARTRET. v. The Honorable Thomas V. ALDRIDGE, Jr. ... Maynard


oh My did we all forget that the mojority of Judges are convinced they are GOD I would never wish for anything bad to happen to anyone but someday it will be their daughter raped or son killed by a drunk driver released with an unsecured bond what a way to flip off the system laughing all the way home! Once they or a loved one becomes the victim and they have to watch in disbelief as the defendant walks out the door ONLY then will they believe maybe they made a mistake and maybe some changes should be looked at Remember the bondsman is at NO COST to the taxpayer wouldnt you rather some kind of terms and conditions as well as security was placed on the one who has brought harm to you or your family or do we just bury our heads in the sand and hope they will return to court and place the burdom of recovery on the taxpayer

Truth is if we didn't have

Truth is if we didn't have to address the criminal element then there would be no need for bondsmen, criminal law enforcement criminal court lawyers, criminal court judges, prosecutors, public defender or required criminal court personnel. If money is relevant, then truth exhibits that all of the above receive their salary from the need to remedy criminal activity. Lawyers monopolize the court system with little oversight from those who pay the courts bills the tax payers. Of all the above, the bondsmen and private non court appointed or public defender are the single entity which is not paid by an already over burdened tax payer. If they fail to perform their duty, the school system is enriched. Excessive bail? Excessive could be viewed as ridiculous. Certainly (0) bail is not excessive but could be considered ridiculous. Could it be that the controlling lawyers who serve as judges covet the money being made by bondsmen at the expense of the citizenry?

Your response to the article

Your response to the article shows your pure ignorance of how the private Bailnond Industry works. An unsecured bond allows a person to leave the jail, with only their "word" that they will show up for court, when they don't , law enforcement must re-arrest these poeple. A bond agent ensures that responsibility under a secured bond, should the defendent fail to appear, it is up to the bond agent to apprehend them AT THE EXPENSE OF THE BOND AGENT! NOT the taxpayer. You are very confused, and "excessive" bail means bail amount in relation to the charge, for example, you dont set a 10,000.00 bond for littering, think please! Plesae explain how you feel its a savings to the tax payer to used unsecure bonds which lead to more burden on law enforcement. Furthermore,bonds which go bad from bail agents are paid by agents to the public schools, bail agents generate income to PUBLIC schools. Please take a few minutes and learn what you are talking about BEFORE posting ignorance.


Re: "The only thing Cartret is whining about is that he wants another commission and more money for his pockets"

You must be jealous of the bailman or you are involved in this highly unethical policy, maybe even the author or you are simply trying to steer the conversation in a way that has nothing to do with this dangerous situation. Excessive bail means reasonable. These judges, maybe even you, are not even putting ANY bail on these criminals. And before you open your mouth friend, $10,000 UNSECURED bail amounts to nothing, $0, nada. So you don't know what you are even talking about or again, maybe you are the judge and simply attempting to change the subject. In any case, you seem to spout the same belief and appear to be lining up with the judges in question. They, or you, are clearly championing criminals rights or acting as an advocate for them or whatever. Well to them I say: "What about the victims of these crimes that have been committed?" Who will champion them, represent their rights. These judges are either stupid, idiotic or like the other guest said: paying someone back.


I wonder how much mark was offered for the motorcycle he gave up to
the columbus county sheriffs office that he originally took for collateral?? the sheriffs department knew Mark was getting this bike before my son was even bailed out...... oh by the way, which never happened... more collateral was needed after the bike was given to the sheriff's department... Yea right! found another bonds man who didn't even require collateral! Now tell me they are all not in this for each other's pockets. Karma will come around.. it always does!

Your son's bike

hi, was your son the one with the special made bike they were talking about in the storage building? didnt you go after mark cartrette and kevin norris and the sheriff batten? they did no wrong here. i believe your two sons ended up in prison did they not? the bike was sold for a tax lien on the drug seizure isn't that the one you speak of? has nothing to do with kevin norris sheriff batten or the bondsman cartret. complain to the nc dept of revenue who sold the bike for 5k. they were all doing their job as i guess your drug dealing family was. it is all about the good guys and the bad guys, the cops and the dealers. good luck.

Reply to Guest 24

You need to hear both sides of the story before you make your comments. I know and apparently you know what really happened
regarding that bike. they are all fraudulent crooks. this has nothing to do with who is in jail and what for.
this has to do with the underminded way things were handled and the sneaky way those columbus county sheriff's department work. don't worry,there day is coming. I am not afraid of them and I have nothing to loose and everything to gain. If they want another civil war, I will be more than happy to participate.
and just for the record the bike was sold for $6700.00 of which 75% of it went to the sherriff's is going to cost them alot more if I can get one honest person in that county to represent me.

Unsecured Bail is a danger to public safety

You wrote:
Mark Cartret appears to be a greedy bail bondsman who is whining because he wants to make more money. I am conservative and I believe in America!
"The Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution prohibits the imposition of excessive bail. The NC Constitution has a similar prohibition. Furthermore, this traditional right to freedom before conviction allows the unhampered preparation of a defense, prevents the infliction of punishment prior to conviction, preserves the constitutional presumption of innocence, which was secured only after centuries of struggle, and saves taxpayers money. Taxpayers have supported enough prisoners.

The judges are following the law while also protecting the taxpayers and the public. After a review, there are conditions placed on every bond. The only thing Cartret is whining about is that he wants another commission and more money for his pockets."

But the facts show:
What defines "excessive bail?" Frog Strickland being charged $1 million on misdemeanor charges? Do you, your honor, think it ok to let child molesters and those that would our harm kids out for free instead? I could care less about what Cartret or anyone else in the private sector makes, as long as they are performing a valuable service and one that saves the taxpayers while tending to the public safety. The Jolly Sasser Bail Policy will cost the taxpayers and is a danger to public safety.The taxpayers will pay for unsecured bail as found by the US Dept. of Justice's most recent study. Unsecured bail generates a 50% more increase in warrants causing more time on the street for the already over-worked Sheriff. Unsecured bail, according to the facts set forth NEVER provides and extra added arrest authority, that which a bondsman brings and thus causing law enforcement to "go it alone" while handling fuel, staffing and other additional costs. The bail system is a self-funded system and if left alone will work well as it was intended. You clearly are viewing the Eighth Amendment in a much different perspective than any other judge I have seen. Who pays for the forfeitures generated by these unsecured bonds? The child molesters, rapists and violent offenders will never pay, thus depriving the taxpayers and the school kids of the revenue otherwise collected when a bondsman is used as in "secured bail." Columbus county already has thousands of warrants piling up and this unethical policy promises to add much more. Nope you can't win that one. I too am very conservative and I just don't see it your way. Neither will the many victims, voters and taxpayers. So stay on the side as the champion of those that nearly cause troopers to get killed. Crystal Lee and BJ love your logic. The unsecured bail on this young lady who caused a trooper to flip his car during the recent Sunday chase will come back to haunt you. The citizens need to pray that an honest attorney will come forward and challenge you Judge Sasser and Judge Jolly, true judicial activists who have a proven track record of using their positions to go after those that challenge their dirty deeds and shenanigans.

Mark, calm down. It is

Mark, calm down. It is improper to try to mislead the readers into believing that you are "Judge Sumrell" or any other judge. Although you would have the readers believe that Mark Cartret frets about public safety, ole Mark Cartret gets more crooks out of jail than anyone in Columbus County. He just wants a cut or a commission. Ole Mark seems to like controversy, commissions, and helping crooks get out of jail. However, please stop the whining and the groundless attacks on others.

just trying to get along

This “write it down" the Honorable Judge Douglas Sasser mentions is nowhere in the law or North Carolina General Statutes. It is highly burdensome on magistrates that often work long shifts. It does however suit the judge’s purpose. Judge Sasser does not tell you that he has told magistrates that they had "better use more unsecured bonds" and neither will he tell you that "2.5" magistrates must be let go by years end. Now he has much say so as to which magistrates stay or which ones must go, so says Sandra Lewis, the head magistrate. So once again it has been stressed that if magistrates would like to keep the job, the ones that do not follow "the good Judge's wishes" payback will come for 2.5 of them-just like it has obviously came for Mark Cartret and anyone else that speaks out. The magistrates are not stupid and are only trying to feed their families. No one agrees with releasing(free of bail) such as has been unleashed on this community since the 1st of May.

Unsecured Bonds in Columbus County

Its time to start holding these liberal judges accountable.
They are acting just plain stupid.
They are not modeling the policy after statue, the are inserting there own personal agendas on the public.
Remember them at election time.


The judge that set this policy should be reprimanded and a superior judicial authority should recommend the appropriate bail schedules. Someone should also educate this judge about the legal reasoning behind requiring some sort of secured bond. Professor David Muhlhausen's recent study on bail would be a good start.

this has been horrible i

this has been horrible i have seen guy walk on sexual battery, assault with a deadly weapon intent to kill inficting serious injury, assault on a female, ect. i understand non violent crimes being unsecured but they are playing with fire and what will it take to make them see that? a woman getting murdered by her husband because she called to police on him? if there are no concequences for violent actions, whats to deter these violent offenders from repeating this behavior? God have mercy on this county and the judge who allowed this.

Bail Policy

This is Judges Sasser and Jolly. These are the judges that attacked the new district attorney Jon David. The judge is incorrect and taking the law saying they patterned this policy after law. He holds almost all of the discretion and can decide which way to go. That is basically how the law was written. I read it on the site "Sasser-Jolly set 'em all free on unsecured bail in district 13a." The judge is putting no weight on the victims' rights or concerns. As a law student at Carolina I think this judge or these judges have proven they're unfit. Hopefully there will be a good candidate to rise up as a replacement in the near future.

Another liberal action by Judge Jolly

First was the playing politics by Judge Jolly with the DA over traffic court was bad enough but when bleeding heart liberal crap lets dangerous offenders out on unsecured bail and then trying to pass the buck to the magistrates is ridiculous. Then again all one needs to do is look at the bond issues with Frog to find its laughable as to whats been going on with the bond issue.

Mark Cartret Greedy?

Mark has saved the taxpayers of Columbus County millions of dollars and it is a matter of public record. Just check with the AOC or go look in the shucks at the Columbus County courthouse. If he is greedy that is hard to see. He has, in the last year alone, given over $70,000 to various charities and donates much of his time to various nonprofit causes. I recall my cousin Linda Smith, who worked many years at Columbus County jail say many times Cartret got sick and disabled inmates out without charging them a fee. He even bought and paid for a motor for a family passing through one Christmas as they headed back to New York when their car had broken down and was being repaired. The service he performs saves the taxpayers. Look at the arrests he has recently made, Frog and Matt "Shady" Hill. The Sheriff's House Arrest Program failed and Cartret and his agents, at his own expense, made the arrests. He is one of the few fathers I have seen that has fought for and kept custody of his kids despite the actions of a few corrupt judges who have done their best to help a mom that arranges fights in parking lots. You may not know what you say; people are often jealous and seldom state facts. There are two orphanages, one in Romania and the other in Hungary. Please ask the kids that he buys shoes, toys and clothes for if they think he is greedy. Judge Jolly and Sasser went after Mark due to his relationship with Jon David, our new District Attorney. Look at the date the policy began, 1 May 2011. Do a Google search and you will see Mark and other citizens signing a petition to support Jon David. You will see Mark and others standing up for justice and against the banker's son and the corrupt political machine that has for so long ran most of our day to day activities. No, I do not think Mark a greedy person; maybe he should just sit back and keep his mouth shut. Maybe he should stop attacking corruption and try to accept that Columbus County is the way it is and that is how it will stay.

Mark Cartret Greedy?

I also know Mark and have been witness to his generosity, his sincere caring for this community and his commitment to his profession. The most disturbing fact in all of this is, are the Judges using the bench to punish Mark, Jon David or any other citizen? When a public servant uses the power of their office to inflict harm, intimidation, financial distress or character assassination against a citizen for real or perceived grievances it is a total abuse of power.

Mark Cartret Greedy

Well if he is so generous, then why doesn't he pay for the motorcycle he obtained fruadulently from my son for bail?? and also I wonder why my son wasn;t released without a bond? He was only growing marijuana to aid in his cancer pain! Oh I see let's let the violent people go and keep the good ones in jail. They all must be afraid of the violent ones!


Is this the bike that the Dept of Revenue seized and sold for $6700? Why would he or the sheriff pay you for such? Just curious. And by the way growing drugs for medical reasons is ok if you have a permit and reside in California. It is illegal in NC and SC and elsewhere. I believe both of your sons were charged and later found guilty of drug trafficking in NC and SC and also Florida. I was a bailiff in the courtroom and I did not hear the medical story introduced. Maybe you should appeal.

To Manolis

Over here Mr. Manolis they went after another good man. His name was Charlie Miller. Charlie knew something wasn't right when the head Judge called him in and pulled him away from a trafic fatality. But he was ordered (not by Judge Jolly) but another head judge. Anyway he, as he has done for well over 20 years did as he was ordered. Turns out Charlie was used and quickly realized that he had been made a pawn to do the bidding of a corrupt judiciary namely two head judges which included Judge Jolly. Now they have come for Charlie also. They have done so after he told the truth and gave a statement of what these Brunswick judges pulled off. It is sad as I never knew we had such a problem until this happened. They really hate this new DA and anyone connected to him. Not knowing Mr. Carteret I have however heard of him. I have heard that he has guts and that he will stand up to corruption. A judge and the Sheriff were speaking well of him last week and while I was at the courthouse addressing a traffic ticket with my daughter. So the talk is out here too. I cannot quite understand how Judge Jolly fits in as a head judge in both districts. The superior court heads are different however. I am not much into politics and sadly haven't done much more than show up to vote for the last 30 years. I assure you that will change. I cannot vote against this Judge Sasser as I live here in Brunswick, but I can and will show up to vote against Judge Lewis and Judge Jolly God willing. The shameful way they have misrepresented our County and the justice system here will not go un-noticed.

Mr. Greedy writer

I believe a few of the guests on this site or other sites have called this for what it is. The "Greedy” writer on the first WWAY TV 3 site most likely hit the nail on the head. Clearly this is about jealousy Mr. Greedy writer. Judge Sasser, and his banker dad that created his job (along beside of RC Soles) has openly talked about the bail industry "making way too much money." It was Sasser's law firm that allowed Adam Rooks to steal millions of dollars in a mortgage fraud scheme. I believe the Feds have since reopened the case and may very well be adding "others" that might eventually join Mr. Rooks and his family. Perhaps the judge is worried that he will need more money to pay towards possible legal fees in that matter? This is not about the bail industry though Judge Sasser and Judge Jolly would like to steer the issue that way. It is about the good judges championing crime and disregarding the facts and the victims’ rights. It is about them using them abusing their positions going after someone who does not agree with the corruption in this district. Look at Jon David and how Judge Jolly attacked him. Look at Charlie Miller and how Judge Jolly and another head judge went after him. Mr. Cartrette if you would not have stood with DA Jon David, Judge Sasser and Judge Jolly would not have went after you either. The public, contrary to what these judges would have it to believe, is not so stupid. Judge Sasser, we may not all be 'NC State' grads or born with a silver spoon like a banker's son but we can read,write and do arithmetic in Columbus County. And yes, we can even think for ourselves, especially when the wolves in sheep’s clothing appear.

The World of Thugdom salutes you Judge Sasser

So am I to believe that drunk drivers and other offenders including those that beat their wives are freebies by Jollys' and Sassers' standards? And as for raping or molesting a child, am I to understand that Sasser is fine with those and does not view a risk as everything is running smoothly and as planned?" Maybe now I can understand why Chad Adams called him a "Solesketeer." Maybe Sasser is true to his good friend RC and going easy on such people in expectations for the charges RC might eventually face. He could then justify an unsecured bond for the ex-Senator who created his (Sassers') job while dividing the district and putting in another head judge-Ola Lewis. You are a winner Mr. Judge Sasser. The victims (ah excuse me) I mean the offenders i.e. rapists, child molesters and others from the world of thugdom should salute you.

Judge Sasser

Judge Sasser is as fair as Boss Hogg on the "Dukes of Hazard." I personally witnessed a case that I felt strongly that he should have recused himself on. He was indirectly involved and the attorney was informed. The attorney refused to file a motion for the judge to remove himself claiming that the judge would get angry and harm our side. The attorney said, facts in hand, Sasser had no choice but to rule in our favor. He claimed that "the law is the law" no matter what the judge's involvement with the other side. We were assured that the judge would be fair if for nothing more than the fact that the law required that he do so. During the trial I learned that the judge's sister-in-law was talking with her hair dresser and running me and my family down. She was saying things that were clearly not so. I did not even know this lady and I have never had a criminal charge. As a matter of fact, this was the first time I have ever been in court or taken anyone to court. We lost in front of Judge Sasser. However I eventually won but we had to go in front of another judge and under similar circumstances in order to get justice. I have since heard lots of similar stories about Sasser. The judge is clearly not fair and will help his friends. His family obviously discusses matters about certain cases at the dinner table. It is shameful that Douglas Sasser is allowed to sit on the bench. There is a God and all is seen and I believe true justice eventually comes to such people as this judge.

Replace Judge Sasser

I believe that this further goes to show how corrupt this county has become. You finally have some with the courage to stand up those like Mark Carterette that have worked in the court system for many years. And now these judges will show him and his supporters who is the real boss of this dirty career politician infested county. They are clearly abusing their authority and playing dirty politics business as usual here. Some of this is Carterett's fault as he can be found to be one of the democrats biggest supporters. But I am glad he has now come over to our side and we need more like him. I have one question. What if Judge Sasser's family was robbed or raped? Do you think the criminal that did such would get an unsecured bond? No, of course not. Sasser and his upper class ruler’s lives are more valuable than us commoners. To Sasser and his good old boys we are peasants. His dad as a big banker has robbed many people and used his influence to give Judge Sasser a high paying taxpayer job. It is time for Judge Sasser to go and take his buddy RC Soles and Judge Jolly with him.

This problem is not only Columbus Co.

Unsecured bonds do have their place in the judicial system BUT they have been given out way too much just to save time for which ever magistrate or judge a defendant is in front of. If a person has been arrested and they are charged with $10,000 unsecured bond for a drug possession charge, don't you think the evidence is pretty good against them is pretty good to give them a bond like that? So what's the use in making their bond unsecured? As bondsmen we have to ensure that that person is in court or we have to pay the bond amount. Why would the county not want to make sure that they would be covered either by a possible conviction of this person and getting the drugs off the streets or receiving bond forfeiture money, in this case $10,000 that goes to the school board attorney for that county. This is happening in Columbus, Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties. I know people dont care about the bondsmen but we are an important part of the judicial system. We are NOT paid by any taxpayers dollars and we do contribute money to our county. I dont know why Mark Cartret is upset he is also in the electronic monitoring business(TarHeel Monitoring). They receive contracts to monitor a defendant for a certain amount of time for a certain amount of money which is funded by the county in efforts to "free up" jail space.Here is a link that addresses this issue <-Copy and paste it in your browser

What has happened in that county?

To Mr. 'Bail Bondsman.'
Some in your system are Ok and perform a great service, but some are thugs and should be behind bars, just like some of the thug attorneys and judges. There is much corruption in the court system and these judges not recognizing victims' rights by unsecuring bail for violent offenses are nothing more than judicial activists. Maybe they are jealous of you guys making so much money, I do not know. I have witnessed the pretrial program in our county working well and if Mr. Cartret runs a monitoring company then what of it? Maybe you are jealous of him? Is his business not a legal entity just like bail? I retired from the court system 7 years ago and moved away from the bull in that county. I recall Mr. Cartret’s uncle “ Bruce” Sellers. They always helped a lot of people and have given so much to the community. This man in your video is an elected clerk of Court that appears to be working for the bail bondsmen and on the bail bondsmen's payroll. I question his portraying himself or representing himself as a clerk of court while doing this one-sided video. So it does not take me long to figure out his motives and incentives. Anyway the bail bondsmen do perform a viable and a money saving service. I would agree with that. I have become like a lot of people and do not care for the shape these judges have put our system in. If a judge is letting child molesters free and rapists and those who beat women free on unsecured bail then these judges have crossed the line and gone way too far and must go. This makes me sick and I wonder what the system has come to.