Lori Brasnahan was trying to save her daughter’s life when she was stabbed to death in March, prosecutors say. Branashan and her daughter were abducted from the parking lot of Great Northern Mall near Syracuse by a man who brutally raped the 10-year-old girl before murdering Brasnahan, a 47-year-old school librarian.
Prosecutors in Onondaga County, N.Y., say the man responsible for that atrocity, David Renz, 29, had been released from federal custody in January, two days after the FBI arrested Renz on a child pornography charge. Renz reportedly had thousands of illegal sexual images of children on his computer, and also had a juvenile record for a 1999 incident in which Renz, then 15, molested a 9-year-old girl. Nevertheless, U.S. Magistrate Andrew T. Baxter released Renz, ordering him to wear a GPS tracking bracelet.
Barely two months later, Renz managed to remove the tracking device and went to the mall, where prosecutors say he ambushed Brasnahan and her daughter in the parking lot after following them out of a gymnastics class the girl was attending. And for this crime, a Justice Department official and a Democrat member of Congress are blaming budget cuts:
The top official supervising the federal court system, Judge Thomas Hogan, wrote in a letter to the local congressman that the suspect in the March 14 crime, David Renz, “was not supervised in a manner typical of federal probation and pretrial services practices.”
Hogan also blamed federal budget reductions for the carjacking murder of a school librarian, who police say was stabbed to death after trying to save her daughter from Renz.
“Funding for salaries and operations in the probation and pretrial services system has been reduced 14 percent this fiscal year,” Hogan wrote in his letter to Rep. Dan Maffei, New York Democrat, adding that “resources for monitoring, mental health and substance abuse treatment have been cut 20 percent.”
Officials in the Syracuse office charged with supervising Renz after he was released by a federal magistrate in January “have denied that personnel shortages played any role in the Renz case,” according to the Syracuse Post Standard. However, Maffei cited the case Monday in a speech on the House floor, saying that “an innocent woman was stabbed to death [and] an innocent child was sexually assaulted” and that the ability of federal courts “to keep this from happening again is limited because their funding was cut.” …
Monday, the congressman who represents the upstate New York district blamed federal spending cuts for the crime, saying that ending the curent budget sequester — implemented to reduce the federal deficit — is an obligation Congress owes to Renz’s victims. “We owe them a guarantee that this cannot happen again,” Maffei said in his House floor speech. “We owe them an end to sequester cuts affecting our federal probation system.”
So, according to Dan Maffei, congressmen who voted for budget cuts to reduce the deficit are now unindicted co-conspirators in David Renz’s crimes.