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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — As you saw ONLY ON 3 last night, in the last four months, hundreds of people in Columbus County, including some with violent charges, have been issued unsecured bonds. The judge responsible for the new bond policy spoke to WWAY this afternoon to defend the policy.

Columbus County Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser says though it may *seem* alleged violent criminals are running free, the system is running smoothly and according to plan.

“Listen, I live in this community. I have family. I have friends. I don’t want to be unsafe,” Sasser said.

Tuesday WWAY obtained copies of hundreds of unsecured bonds all issued after May 1 in Columbus County. Among the charges are drug trafficking, sexual battery and assault on a child under 12.

“There may well we some charges that you would not normally see an unsecured bond on, but I would say probably take a little closer look and see if there’s some extenuating circumstances,” Sasser said.

Judge Sasser and Judge Jerry Jolly drew up the new bail policy for Columbus and Bladen Counties.

“It was actually just an attempt to bring it back up to date with what these current statutes provide,” Sasser said referring to state laws governing bonds.

Under the policy to issue a secured bond, magistrates must fill out a three-page questionnaire on each defendant, making it a more cumbersome process. Sasser says he does not know of any other districts in the state who have a worksheets for a secured bond, but he says it is beneficial.

“I want them to take the extra step to jot it down in writing and make it available to myself, to the district court judges, whoever could possibly hear this case down the road,” Sasser said.

Sasser said he trusts the magistrates to make the right decision in determining what kind of bond to issue.

“These people aren’t bleeding-heart liberals,” he said. “They’re not trying to turn these some of these people loose on the streets. They’re trying to make this place safer.”

We also spoke with District Attorney Jon David. He said he plans to speak with other officials to see if changes to the bail policy need to be made.

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37 Comments on "ONLY ON 3: Judge Sasser defends bond policy"

John Carr
2015 years 8 months ago

its all about the power and sasser is part of the old power broker system thats been in place for a long time. he appears to care less about justice and more about himself and his family and supporters. getting elected is his main goal not justice. the proof is in the pudding; he will step on anyone and everyone except his family and supporters. he is not the image of the regular columbus countian but that of royalty. picks his nose while reading about yachts and the high life. he should be in jail for the adam rooks matter where the secretaries in the office he worked went down for fraud. if you think he is a good judge, you do not know him. we need an honest judge and one that mirrors the county not corruption, bankers and spiteful power brokers that answer to the puppet master.

Robert Ward
2015 years 8 months ago

It is common knowledge that if you give campaign contributions to the right attorney or the right judge in the county, you and your family will receive justice. However if you step out of line or otherwise do not follow the good old boy system and know no one, good luck. You will be on your own. Jobs have been handed out by who you know or someone code named the Godfather. Promotions and State and County jobs such as at the tax office, the DSS office, the Courthouse and so on are bartered by a handful of greedy men. Just look at Judge Sasser’s job. It was made and created for this banker’s son by the former Senator, RC Soles. Judicial District 13 was morphed into 13A and 13B by a Bonner Stiller bill that RC Soles crafted. The taxpayers should be furious. Laws, jobs and programs are manipulated for the good of a few in Columbus County. Other counties do not work in such a manner. But this one does and I speculate it will never change. The elected officials are only as good as those they represent and mirror a cross section of their constituents. Term limits will fix this. Sasser must go as he looks down on those that are from humble means. Now he uses his position to attack? How dare he?

Amy Ward
2015 years 8 months ago

These judges have lost all ties with reality. I have always said that no one should be put in office and left indefinitely. These men become like kings and often forget about the small people. Why would someone with as much money as the Sasser’s want such a position. Power and money, simply put. Douglas Sasser could care less about justice or the little people. He, like his dad, will spend each year lining his pockets with the tokens of the attorneys that practice in front of him. It works like the lottery, you never know when your number comes up as justice is traded on the phone, at home or on a golf course. Sadly names like “Backroom Doug” and “Jolly’s Folly” now define our local justice system.

William Hall
2015 years 8 months ago

Tell me that judges are not releasing rapist on free bonds. I cannot believe this. I understand that there is a presumption of innocence but judges should be erring on the side of caution. This is wrong. And if you have a prior record of violence, you do not let someone just sign themself out of jail. Obviously this judge defends his lame policy that is far from being tough on crime. This is an amazing case of stupidity. WWAY should follow this closely as someone will eventually get killed while out on this free bail policy. Good work judges. You have crossed over to the criminals’ advocate. Yeah for criminals rights. Thumbs down to victims’ rights under your lame amazingly stupid policy.

Guest 101976
2015 years 8 months ago

Can this judge be fired? If his dad was a powerful banker like I have read, can he be fired? How do you get to be a head judge? Does anyone know? I would say he should be fired if it is possible.

Bruns activist
2015 years 8 months ago

The last straw is here folks. Jolly must go and it looks like he aint the only one. Politics has taken over the bench and when they unsecure criminals that harm kids and women and cops, what will be next? Vote for someone else next time.

2015 years 8 months ago

Can you guys not find a better choice for judges in the county?

2015 years 8 months ago

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.

Juie B
2015 years 8 months ago

Mark Cartret has ran the bail industry from his Raleigh office for decades. He was put in place by his Senator and friend Tom Apadoca. Apodaca is head of the Republicans in Raleigh and a power behind the scenes of all bondsmen. Mark is going to learn that he needs to go back to Raleigh or whereever else he came from and hide under Apodaca’s coat. Columbus County judges will show him who is the boss as they are doing now. Look at Justin Burr the bondsmen. Buying expensive cloths on campaign contributions? These judges are abusing their power but has mark not become too powerful also? One man like Jimmy Hoffa should not be allowed to control a single industry. That board in Raleigh needs to can him now before the crooked judges in Columbus County infect other judges around the state. Mark has done good in the past but it is time for new bondsmen leadership. No one, not Mark or these judges should be allowed to stay in an office for so long.

2015 years 8 months ago

These judges could care less about laws and victims’ rights. They are put in office by stolen and bought Columbus and Bladen County votes. These are RC’s judges and ex-felon Gov. Easley’s appointments. They have more power than Supreme Court justices and they know it. No one can or will run against them or challenge their abuses of power. To do such would be tantamount to committing suicide-political suicide that is. Any attorney attempting to run against these power broker’s boys will pay dearly. Just look at what they are doing to this bondsman and this new DA.

George White
2015 years 8 months ago

These guys have been around for awhile or at least Jerry Jolly has. Look at dennis Worley, Jolly’s cousin and how many times Worley has appeared in front of him. There is a lot of talk about worley being corrupt and even getting an insider tip on the new land that the Governor is working on bringing industry in to. There has always been corruption in the county and it has gotten worst. i think it wrong if banker Rhone Sasser put his boy in an office that was vacated by Bill Gore. I think it wrong if RC Soles divided the district so the banker’s son could get the job. Politics has become a sick game in the county and these guys play it well. Throw them out is what I say. We need Christian God fearing men in the office of judge and even though Sasser goes to church and plays boy scout and so on, he does not act like a true Christian would.

bay larry
2015 years 8 months ago

its not just sasser thats a fake it is jolly too. never been married and bows to dennis worley and his friends. both judges are crooks and both shoal be removed.H

Guest Jonathan
2015 years 8 months ago

Bill Gore had become just as corrupt. Most likely it was due to the lifetime position which we elected him to. I heard a representative say the other day there is a serious movement to undo some of RC’s previous bills, one being the term of judges that sit where Bill Gore used to sit. Sasser it appears has a term longer, thanks to RC Soles, than any other judge in Superior court. He being a “Senior” judge it will be awhile before he can be replaced if he is elected back this time. I am for throwing him out and not keeping him for as long a “video poker Bill” that was also called “god.” Any judge that can turn a blind eye to crimes against children and assaults of females and law enforcement is no judge that we need leading the others.

Guest John
2015 years 8 months ago

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.

Michael White
2015 years 8 months ago

Growing up in Whiteville I will say that those judges represent everything that has gone wrong. A schoolmate recently told me that things are changing in the area. I disagree. Though RC is no longer in office and you now have a Republican Senator, think again. This new Senator travels with longtime RC activist Mitch Tyler. He openly claims a lifetime friendship with Mitch. He has allowed your district to become divided in Raleigh taking the low ground and citing it is all about a formula. Forget that the Senator has a lot of discretion and say so in such an important matter. So basically he traded Columbus County to the Democrats. Do you not think this was the gift Mitch was hanging around for? Both Judge Sasser and Judge Jolly were put in through appointments initiated by none other than RC Soles, Jr, a now disgraced ex-Senator that STILL holds much power. RC has had a long time relationship with now disgraced turned felon ex-Governor Easley. The latest appointment of head judge Doug Sasser was no doubt the product of such questionable alliances. Mitch Tyler is a campaign manager for Governor Bev Perdue. Did she not just appoint RC Soles’ long time law partner Sherry Tyler to the bench? Is not Judge Tyler Mitch’s wife? Did this lady not owe lots of back taxes? Who is the chairman of the Columbus County Commissioners? Buddy Byrd. Look up his record and past history for criminal charges. RC and Buddy go all the way back to Columbus County Corruption a/k/a “ColCor.” Oh and by the way, Buddy was recently arrested once again-for domestic violence issues. So I would tell my friend that nothing has really changed in that creepy little crook infested part of the world. The so-called judges are put in office by the immoral power brokers of corruption, scandals and yes even “crime.”

Bail Agentnc
2015 years 8 months ago

It is very clear what happened. As a matter of fact a blind woman could see. Mark Cartret who has been paid dearly to represent the bail association of NC, crossed party lines. When he sided with DA Jon David and worked on David’s campaign signing a resolution in favor of David and against the good old boy system namely Judge Jolly and Judge Sasser, they fired a shot at our entire industry. So it is just as much Cartret’s fault as those unethical judicial officials. If he was going to head the GOP and the state bail association at the same time, he should have recused himself from one or the other. That is why the nonprofit 501 c3 is “nonpartisan.” Now because of crooked judges hiding behind their corrupt system and an idiotic bondsman, we all must pay the price. Cartret is well off and has made a lot of money and could care less. So his mouth now overloads the rest of our butts. No I am not saying Cartret is corrupt just that he too has way too much control of the bail industry. The 20 years of good he may have done across this state has in 4 months been removed in Columbus and Bladen County. If you are going to do battle with judges that use their position to kill small business Mark, at least have the decency to think of the rest of us. Step down.

2015 years 8 months ago

The judge it appears has rightfully earned the respect of every non law abiding citizen. I am thinking that he has earned the title of the Criminals Judge.

2015 years 8 months ago

I vote that somebody fire those judges that seem to be working for the criminals instead of helping the victims.

John Stanley
2015 years 8 months ago

It is not just Douglas Sasser, Judge Jolly is part of this shameful ignorant policy that is helping destroy our neighborhood. These guys must go. They do not appear to have any grasp or right or wrong and have become so political that the entire community is talking about this nonsense on a daily basis. It is time Columbus County moves on into the new century. We got rid of the KKK thanks to Horace Cartret and we now have these guys. These guys are power hungry and thirsty for nothing but lining their own pockets. If you get in their way or speak out against them as in the case of Cartret of DA David, they will do their best to destroy you. We need some honest attorneys to run against these judges so that we all can move on with our lives.

2015 years 8 months ago

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?

2015 years 8 months ago

this man sets policies like RC did. RC put him in office as RC put many more in office. RC is still in control here so keep that in mind. it is a shame how we are looked at by others. perversion and lies and corruption by these officials have caused much embarrassment to the point of one feeling bad when asked where you are from. my boy was a victim of violence 3 times and each time they let the woman walk on a free bond. then she charges him on advice of a crooked attorney. it was done to get him to drop his charges against her. keep in mind he had her charged 3 times and got her on tape beating him. anyway my son was placed under a 10,000 secure bond and had to pay a bondsman. my son had no prior record other than a speeding ticket. the woman had a long criminal history and bragged that her attorney who was a former da called the high judge at home. talk about justice and bleeding hearts sir? tell someone else. did my son get justice? he was found not guilty and the woman was later convicted. again, did he get justice?

Abby Soles
2015 years 8 months ago

If you want to really know Doug and how he is when not in public, ask his ex-wife.

2015 years 8 months ago

is this judge sasser fruit loops or what? if ever i seen a bleeding heart liberal is has his picture on it. to release such types of goons on the good citizens is crazy. maybe this judge’s mental capacity should be looked at.

2015 years 8 months ago

Driving drunk in this county under this judge’s policy means nothing more than a slap on the wrist. They do not issue warrants anymore but something called “summons.” Summons means that they ask that the “criminal show up for court” and do not order him to do so.”Please please Mr. criminal will you come to court?” Also I discovered that drunk drivers get free bail under this judge’s policy as do other offenders charged with violence. The voters should be made aware of the kind of judges holding the purse strings of justice in Columbus County. If they are mad at certain people, they will rewrite the policies of justice. How is that fair to the victims and the rest of us?

Jimmy Johnson
2015 years 8 months ago

Danny Duncan was not the only one to violate rights. Sheriff Batten should be going to prison as well. Batten has violated numerous rights of those inmates. Sasser being the head judge has been told of this but looks the other way. It remains to see what Jon David will do. There’s lots of crooks in Columbus County. It is a shame that we cannot elect better to public office. And if Sasser and Jerry Jolly are going after the bail groups for speaking out then they should go away to jail too. Judges should be above such mess.

Guest Lefty
2015 years 8 months ago

I agree Sasser and Jolly are unfit to judge a dog show. These guys are decendants of some of the biggest crooks in then county. One sided political judges that rule by their wallets. Remove ’em all. Releasing crooks for free should play a factor in their removal come election time.

Marly Short
2015 years 8 months ago

The judges have a seat of power that has been corrupt for as long as I can remember. My dad used to talk about the one Mr. Sasser replaced being involved in an illegal video poker operation. He and his family never seemed to get busted, unlike Jim Reaves, Donald Godwin, Regina Duncan and Shane Ward. Politics in Columbus clearly touches more lives than most are willing to admit. Many do not know anything of the power brokers of the county or for that matter those operating in the district. It is wrong and it will someday end. Maybe this policy will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. For anyone to see no problem with releasing the likes of what these judges are releasing scares me. I do not for one minute believe that Judge Sasser or Judge Jolly is stupid or ignorant men. I believe that those speaking out are paying the price for their lack of silence. Judges’ jobs were never meant to be used for exacting revenge or waging personal vendettas. Judge Sasser and Judge Jolly should at a minimum be removed and / or dis barred. Did Mike Nifong do any more (or less) than what these so-called jurists have done?

Guest Larry
2015 years 8 months ago

“…In a separate case, a Bladen County teen was arrested on a rape charge stemming from an incident reported just four days earlier.

Brandon Scott Johnson, 16, of 43 Archietown Road, White Lake, was charged with second degree rape. He was served with the charge at the Sheriff’s Office, placed under $25,000 unsecured bond and released…”

The Sampson Independent – Child sex charges leveled

Let’s take a look at another rape case as it appears that this violent charge holds no value under the Sasser Jolly Bail Policy.
On the 28th of December 2010, it is alleged that Dempsy Robert McKoy III committed the act of Second Degree Rape (10CR 052818). For this charge, Mr. McKoy was released on the 30th day of December 2010 on an “Unsecured” Bond (a bond which holds NO obligations and which he himself signed.)
While out on the Unsecured Bond for the violent crime of Second Degree Rape, it is alleged that he committed additional crimes which also includes another Rape. In addition to the latest Rape charge, it is alleged that he also committed the violent offenses of First Degree Burglary and Assault with Serious Bodily Injury.
Mr. McKoy, while out on the Sasser Jolly Bail Policy, had no job or stable residence. He also has a previous record of violence. These are factors which should have been considered according to the Sasser Jolly Bail Policy for Columbus and Bladen Counties. These factors obviously were not considered or were totally disregarded. What is wrong with our judicial officials? Have they forgotten about our victims?

Rolly Parker
2015 years 8 months ago

Thanks WWAY for breaking this story. These judges think they can get away with anything and seem to be doing just that. Most folk never knew about this type of bond. I know I had not. I had to pay a ticket for using a wildlife access improperly as I pulled over at a boat ramp to talk to my dying mom. The ticket was for $275 and I was told I could tell it to the judge and he may decide to go easier. But losing a days work at International on overtime would have cost me more. So they let some rough people off with a slap on the wrist I now see. This is a crying shame that we have judges supposed to work for the innocent victims on here speaking for those committing violent crimes. I hope we have some better choices come election time. Judge Jolly and Judge Sasser, it is time you men go sit at the house or whereever you come from.

Pauley Ward
2015 years 8 months ago

I believe a few of the guests on one of the other sites 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.

2015 years 8 months ago

He wrote the policy so of course he isn’t now going to turn around and say it is messed up. That would be like admitting you have an ugly baby.

Ronnie Davis, jr
2015 years 8 months ago

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.

Payback for perceived injustices?

Jason Helms
2015 years 8 months ago

Columbus County Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser says though it may *seem* alleged violent criminals are running free; the system is running smoothly and according to plan.
Your Honor, are you not aware of the thousands of un-served warrants in Columbus County?

“It was actually just an attempt to bring it back up to date with what these current statutes provide,” Sasser said referring to state laws governing bonds.”

When were the statutes changed? Not recently your honor.

“These people aren’t bleeding-heart liberals,” he said. “They’re not trying to turn these some of these people loose on the streets. They’re trying to make this place safer.”

Ok. Really? You mean with folks like Crystal Lee? On Sunday and while free on an unsecured bond, Ms. Lee, while fleeing to elude arrest caused a North Carolina State Highway Patrol officer to lose control of his car, narrowly escaping death. Ms. Lee, was, once again and on yesterday released on an unsecured bond. Would you say she was released on extenuating circumstances?

“There may well we some charges that you would not normally see an unsecured bond on, but I would say probably take a little closer look and see if there’s some extenuating circumstances,” Sasser said.
Ok, Your honor. Could you enlighten us as to which ones you are speaking of? The files show numerous assaults on government officials, assaults on females, kids, habitual felons, drug traffickers and violent felony assaults with firearms. There is more than ‘a few in the file.’ In fact a, a large number of these you have insinuated were miniscule are repeat offenders with a violent past. Such is easily confirmed by going into the Automated Criminal Infraction System. Your magistrates have a terminal and like us can easily find such

Guest Lucy
2015 years 8 months ago

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. However I was able to, under similar circumstances go back in front of another judge at a later date. And of course I won. 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.

2015 years 8 months ago

I would rather be a “bleeding heart liberal” than a “blood thirsty republican” any day of the week. This judge much like every other politician in south eastern NC likes to shift the blame for anything they do. How about these people focus on equality, jobs, and training. Maybe then there wouldn’t be so many criminals on the docket, period.

Pat Strickland
2015 years 8 months ago

This is a mess that should not be happening. Judges are supposed to be fair and balance victims’ rights. These judges only seem to be concerned with unleashing criminals. My vote is that they must go. It is getting harder to remove them as they continuously get the lawmakers to vote for longer terms for them. How dare them to release child molesters and then try to justify it. I agree that they are unfit to judge a dog show.

Guest 222
2015 years 8 months ago

Is this judge stupid or what? He hasn’t really given a straight answer. He actually wants us to believe that he is making the public safer by letting out child molesters, rapists and those that assault women and law enforcement officers. He has got to be kidding. I have never seen such a liberal judge and hope to never meet one. He points the finger yet 3 more are clearly pointing back at him. His responses, like this crazy policy, proves that he is unfit to judge anything including a dog show.


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