By all accounts Isabelle Singleton was a churchgoing grandmother who should be alive today – but isn't.
Police said her boyfriend, Ronald Washington, stabbed and killed her – after he bonded out on jail on battery and domestic violence charges for allegedly trying to strangle the Miami woman.
Miami-Dade Corrections Director Timothy Ryan, who runs the jails in the county, said he is trying to get to the bottom of why Washington, 45, was out of his lockup when the courts thought he was behind bars.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family,” Ryan said.
On March 11, Washington was arrested on charges of battery by strangulation and domestic violence – the latest in a long line of domestic violence counts against him, court records showed.
The next day, when Washington appeared in bond court, Singleton told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Stacy Glick that the couple was trying to work things out.
“I'm not afraid of him anymore. We resolved that issue,” she said.
Glick set Washington’s bond at $5,000.
“There's a stay away order against Isabel Singleton – no contact with her,” she said.
But Washington didn’t stay away, and three weeks later Singleton was dead, according to police.
On the domestic violence count, sources said, Washington should have been held and not released. But Miami-Dade Corrections let him go.
“So it appears that he was released prematurely,” Ryan said.
Ryan said their system to alert a victim that an inmate is no longer in custody was sent to Singleton.
He should have gone to another bond hearing the following day, Ryan added.
In an internal corrections document obtained by NBC 6, an investigator said that Circuit Judge Carroll Kelly of the Miami-Dade courts’ domestic violence division wanted an “explanation on how Washington was released from custody when his misdemeanor domestic violence case was never addressed by the bond hearing judge.”
Ryan said he thinks the trouble was with the amount of Washington’s bond, however.
“We believe that the bond should have been in the amount of $6,500, which would have been the appropriate bond level at that point,” Ryan said.
Judges are prohibited from commenting on cases, a court spokesperson said.
But corrections and the courts agree that Washington should have been seen by a judge specifically trained to handle domestic violence cases, which did not happen.
Washington is again back in jail, this time on a first-degree murder charge, and again has pleaded not guilty, court records said.
Teddy bears mark the spot where Singleton died north of downtown Miami. Messages on her apartment door tell her that she will be missed.
Singleton's neighbor, George Townsend, said Washington also stabbed him when he rushed to the woman’s aid.
Washington should have been in jail when he came and stabbed them, Townsend said.
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