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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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To Bail Bondsman

Yes there is a need for unsecured bail, just as there is a need for secured bail, cash bail and sometimes property bail. And with the miracles of modern technology through Global Position Systems tracking, there is also a need for pretrial release programs. What has caused this latter need? Hum, let's see. Could it be corruption in the bail industry? The group that you clip and pasted AFPB had two leaders which were convicted felons, con men and shysters. Remember Mike Donavon and his partner Mr. 'bad check writer' Moore? It is a shame that the gentleman speaking in this video is the elected Clerk of court for Davidson County. The Hon. Brian Shipwash is a good man but some of the dogs he's hanging around may very well place some fleas upon him. Tom Apodaca, Ben Burr, David Beasley, Mark Cartret, Larry A. Powell, Jim Kelley and a few others were most likely writing the bail laws while you were on probation. Thank these guys for being the founders of where you now receive your ‘unearned income.’ The more than 1400(and increasing) would shrink to around 400 if you remove those with criminal records, which otherwise could not get a job with Walmart. Judges like options and they are exercising those options daily. Eventually bail will be gone and pretrial will have its day. The pretrial market will never allow criminals to join its ranks so it may just last for quite a few years. You new faces of bail have put your own selves out of business. Senator Tom Apodaca is ashamed to even be around you and calls himself an entrepreneur. Look at his website. These judges are idiots but somewhat I do not blame them. If I could shut down thugs from operating in my area, I would too. Let me be clear, I am not calling Tom or Mark or any of those mentioned above thugs. These guys are few and far in between and it seems as if they are trying to run from the rest of you.

Public Safety no longer in Columbus County

My daughter was beat by her no-good choice of a mate. This has been ongoing for the past year due to him falling off of the wagon. finally I talked her into taking out a warrant at the CCSD. Magistrate Green was nice and polite and seemed to understand how violent the situation had become and the gravity of the circumstances. He issued a warrant. i assumed domestic violence meant secured bail and that Mr. No Good would be staying in the County Motel but boy was I fooled. The bail was set at $500 unsecured and the arresting officer politely said that No Good beat him home from the magistrate's office. No bail for No Good. What happened? My daughter was again beaten within 1 hour of her attacker being arrested. She now has 2 black eyes and a busted lip. I never really knew much about bail and neither dis she. I feel responsible for talking her into taking out those papers and the situation I placed her in. I called the magistrate's office and spoke with Magistrate Worley who harshly informed me that it was now Judge Sasser's policy and the magistrate's office was only following orders. He saif he was sorry and would issue another warrant. Yeah right. More unsecured bail probably. No thanks. Thanks Judge Sasser for my daughter "being made safer." I cannot help but wonder what circumstances lead a magistrate to unsecure this bail. No sir the public is not any safer under your policy, your watch or your program.

Remove Jolly and Sasser

Here, here.

Judges have problems

Child Molesters and wife beaters on no bail is crazy. I cannot believe that I have to pay $250 for a wildlife ticket but these judges let crooks out for free. Stupid judges.

My two cents

When Doug became judge I figured that he was a straight up and pretty honest guy. I have always heard the rumors about his dad robbing poor folk but decided to keep an open mind and not judge, least I be judged. The Bible says as much. Anyway the way that he worked with RC Soles to divide this district while causing the taxpayers to creat a duplicate position in Brunswick was wrong. Jerry got to remain head district court judge presiding over the entire district while Doug was awarded two counties so as to not pee off the fact that a black judge who was the more qualified could have Brunswick. She was actually pushed to Brunswick. We should all pray that Doug will change his ways and seek forgiveness. Abusing his power to attack Republicans is wrong. Attacking Jon David is wrong. Attacking others who are of a different opinion is wrong. Jerry has never had a wife or a girlfriend. RC put him in his current job as well. Now, tell me what is wrong with these judges. They have been bought and paid for. Is there really any surprise that they are letting criminals ie child molesters out for free?

Doug Sasser

Doug Sasser was alright before he became judge. When he made head judge he got worse. He acts as if he is a god and looks down his nose on the rest of us. His dad has through his job robbed many poor people and taken their homes and farms. This entire family looks and acts like aristocracy and deal justice unfairly and unequally. It is a shame that we have such to represent our court system. it looks bad on this county and it belittles what justice was meant to be. My question is why would he go so stupid and favor child molesters and prople who commit violence. I for one do not understand such and cannot wait to see the proof. I asked a magistrate at church and he said it was so that Doug told them they had better free everyone on no bail or unsecure bail which amounts to the same thing. He didn't agree with it or so he claimed. Said he had to eat and if he did not follow what he was told he most likely would befall Doug's wrath. Shameful Doug, shame on you.

Come forward

Maybe an attorney with some sense will come forward and challenge Sasser. He has become more corrupt than ever and acts as if he is 10 feet tall. Jolly will have a challenger so if we can get some new judges, the County should be able to shed these reptiles easily. The people are fed up with their one-sided tag teaming approach at justice. Politics rule with these good old boys and rights are being trampled on a daily basis as long as they are in power. Parents in family court have become victims of back room antics just as many other civli and criminal issues which the bad judges have turned a blind eye or open wallet to. God sees all and He truly will allow true justice to reclaim this district.

Stop Columbus Corruption

Some things never change. How can you expect an attorney to challenge head judges that they must practice in front of? They will feel the same wrath these bondsmen have experienced. No judge should have as much power as these judges appear to have. To attack an industry of small business owners is wrong and probably criminal. To dangle the public safety on a string like these judges appear to have done is simply not right in any setting. Yes there is many complainers and I too have my share of looking the other way. The only names I see fighting this corruption are Jon David and Mark Cartret. There are others in the surrounding counties but they too are few and far in between. Same on the rest of you, on us. The crooked judges are only doing as they have for so many years learned. They probably think they are right since they have for so long gotten by with shady operations and working out of dark backrooms. Mark Cartret and Jon David live someplace else so that should say something. When they are gone or completely moved on, who will stand up? Not me, not you. End result, the crooks win again.

Columbus County corruption

I moved away 6 years back. The county has gotten really bad. You have generations of crooks now passing the torch. Sasser was handed the torch from another less than honorable. And so it continues on. This bail policy has nothing to do with anything other than what I have been reading on other forums. Mr. Cartret left the democrats to join the GOP. Mr. Cartret was previously one of them as far as I am concerned. You can easily see where he was one of the largest supporters of the democrats by checking with the State Board of Elections. Now he is speaking out against corruption and the way the county continues to do things. So too was the new DA. They went after the new DA also didn't they? See how they now carelessly play with and disregard the public safety? Unless you remove every single lifetime-elected politician in Columbus you will never get anywhere. Their Courthouse annex is named for a man that wa a previous administrator that killed himself amid a corruption scandal. The County's current chairman over the Commissioners was recently arrested and has been numerous times throughout the years. Par for the course in the county.

Judges no friend to the victims in Columbus County

What is the bigger picture here in this backwards county? These judges who appear to champion criminals are no friend to the victims. Actually they could not be deemed as fair or unbiased in any fashion as they seem to favor the ones committing despicable acts of violence against innocent victims. There was a reason our Founding Fathers created the system of bail which has remained in place for hundreds of years. I am no champion of attorneys or bondsmen but having one of them on my brother's bond saved my mom and the family’s farm a few years back. If I were the Sasser I would worry about the PR that is surely to come one day. Let out a rapist for free and watch his career go down the tank when that rapist rapes again, while on this Sasser-Jolly bond.

RC's Judge Doug Sasser Must Go

These Sassers are like the Gores. They are big money people and seek to control this county. The good people of this county are basically honest and simple hardworking poor folks. The good people of the county deserve better representation in elected officials than the Sassers. They deserve a better head judge in the courtroom and not one that is a fake, one that looks down on simple people and one that uses his position for personal gain. It is a shame how RC Soles created this position for his good buddy banker Rhone Sasser. It is clearly unethical and most likely illegal what they pulled off. RC, as an attorney, needed a head judge he could "work." So he divides the district and pushes a more qualified African American judge (Ola Lewis) to the single county of Brunswick. Lewis was in-line to replace Gov. Mike Easley's friend, the retiring thug, longtime Judge Bill Gore. Gov. Easley is now a convicted felon. RC, who is constantly being investigated, is now also a convicted criminal and always in the news for questionable actions that continue to cause embarrassment to this county. It is time for Sasser to go. When is RC's judge, Doug Sasser up for election?

Dougie Sasser aint a real judge

Think Dougie Sasser cares? Nope, not one tiny winsy bit. He has daddy's money and Sasser power and influence to keep him safe from harm's way. Rhonne Sasser through BB&T and UCB used more influence than anyone could imagine. Now Dougie reaps the benefits he and his red haired former girlfriend-secretary turned wifey who turns her nose up at the locals. The Sassers have always acted like they are above the rest of us. We have the wrong man in this office and we will surely pay. All they care about, he and his wonderfully connected family, is votes, vote buying, power and more money to line his family's pockets. He aint even close to being a real judge let alone a real responsible and honest human being.

Doug the thug judge

I could not agree more. The people do not know what the Sassers pulled in order to put this sorry excuse of a human being in office. The voters do not know that this is RC's judge as it was RC Soles who created the legislation and placed it on Bonner Stiller's desk. The legislation that created the sham of a job by dividing the district was highly unethical and borderline illegal. You now have Judge Sasser in such a questionable position. He needs to be thrown out of office and someone more qualified properly elected in his place.

PS: Lets not forget about the part Governor Easley played in appointing Judge Sasser. Another crook and convicted felon, ex-Gov. Easley was in on the Sasser appointment. Look it up.


Looks like this judge is a perfect addition to Columbus County and its old antiquated system of good old boy back-room justice. Mr. Sasser obviously operates from a different set of values than the rest of us. But then again he can go home to his protected and most likely gated community unlike most citizens. Unleash 'em all judge. They all have a right to freely roam about and commit more crimes, huh? It is most likely societys' fault in the first place huh?

Sassers are crooks

My family had a suit in front on this Judge Sasser. We were told that he was honest and fair. After several hours of trial I noticed that something felt funny and something did not seem quiet right. We had everything in our favor and it was black and white and not gray. We lost. I later learned that the other side was friends with Doug Sasser and his family. By law and his code of ethics, he should have recused himself. Unfortunately he chose to do otherwise. He is a real jerk that is not fair and it is not fair that he sits in judgment above the rest of us. We appealed his decision and we won! Thank God that there is a process above this crooked judge.

Not sure about that

Not sure that you or anyone should call an entire family "crooks." They are power hungry, I will give you that. And Doug Sasser is not fit to be a judge or a head judge for that matter, on that I can agree. His dad bunked with Mike Easley while the senior Sasser attended NC State. It looks like RC Soles also played a part in creating his job. RC was the one who approached Bonner Stiller who helped draft Doug's Bill. These guys have manipulation of the district and self-serving pieces of legislation down to a science, I will also give you that. Doug Sasser should go period.

Remove them

You have the task before you. Remove them or shut up and blend in. If you cant bet them join them. Life will be easier for you pal. That seems to be the case in the poor area of Columbus. Senator Rabon understood this and moved on. He is owned by them just like RC Soles was. Columbus County will never change. The poor are very un- educated and will accept anything that the Sassers and the Gores and the Soles and now Rabons feed them. That is just the way it is. Sad but true.

Governor's Joke

I read where this Judge Sasser has been appointed to the Governor's Crime Commission. The Commission serves a lot of good or has in the past especially as one of its stated purposes is to work against violent crimes and domestic violence. Someone obviously did not review the good judge's past record. Very soft on crime he has a policy of allowing rapists, murders and child molesters walk free. Clearly as the governor has decided to step down this is a political appointment. Wise up Commission, you have a true judicial activist in your midst.

Judge Sasser

Crazy and insane are two words I would use to describe the judges' bail policy. I recently had the honor of representing a client in Columbus County. Being from another area of this great state, I had, in the past heard about the policy someone has termed the "Sasser and Jolly bail policy." While I did get to meet both judges, Judge Sasser and Judge Jolly and found both to be nice and very respectful; I was shocked at the number of defendants appearing who had $0 bonds. I have not in 18 years witnessed such a ludicrous demagogy. Armed robbery, incest, child molestation, attempted murder, habitual felons and you just about name it; these people are running loose free and out of jail on no bond. This policy is a direct reflection on the two judges who crafted it and it should be placed into a deep waste basket. The public safety be damned. How Judge Sasser could obtain an appointment on the crime commission is beyond me. The next governor should look closely at this appointment.