Local News

Durham Judge Wants Sheriff To Bring Back House Arrest Program

Posted October 2, 2000

— Durham County's house arrest program is out of business, but one judge wants the sheriff to bring it back. On Tuesday, a man charged with murder found himself in the middle of the controversy.

Terrell Brodie's eyes filled with tears Tuesday in the Durham County courtroom when he found out he was headed back to jail. Brodie is accused of killing his girlfriend's two-month-old daughter. An autopsy revealed Azhea Sanders died of shaken baby syndrome.

Judge David LaBarre increased Brodie's bond to $250,000 after the sheriff decided to eliminate the house arrest program.

"It was made without any input from the court," LaBarre says. "It's an important option or alternative for the court, and I wish the court had been consulted prior to it being terminated."

The judge said he would reconsider house arrest if Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill would make an exception in this case.

"Just the fact they're going to reconsider him for house arrest again...is a smack in my face and a smack in my family face," says Herman Davenport, the victim's uncle. "This guy did a vicious murder to an innocent child."

When it started seven years ago, the house arrest program was designed for people convicted of non-violent crimes as a way to relieve jail overcrowding. However, Hill says the courts began misusing the program over the past couple of years.

"They should either be in jail or out on bond," Hill says. "If the court feels they're going to be a danger to society, then the bond ought to be high enough that it will eliminate that danger."

Hill says he decided to eliminate the house arrest program in part because the equipment became too expensive to maintain. Following a meeting Tuesday with the sheriff, Judge LaBarre will hold another hearing Wednesday to decide if Brodie's bond will remain at $250,000.

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