An unarmed man is shot in his driveway after rummaging through his mother’s car for some smokes. Two dogs are shot, one of them later euthanized due to its wounds, after deputies enter a house without warrants. A man is killed and his alleged murderer is in the Escambia County Work Release Program, which is under the supervision of the same people that will assume control of the county jail on Oct. 1.
Which one is not being investigated by the state or county? Which one barely got mentioned or made the mainstream media? Which one hasn’t been discussed in front of the television cameras by Escambia County Commission Chairman Gene Valentino?
The murder of Adnan Glelati, the owner of 7 Stars Auto, and the subsequent arrest of Justin Princes Taylor, Jr., who had signed out that day from the Escambia County Work Release Facility to supposedly work for a nearby auto detailing shop.
Amazingly 10 days before the murder, Taylor had been arrested for burglary and grand theft after he allegedly entered an unoccupied, unlocked residence and stole a Nintendo Wii. That day he also signed out from the county work release facility.
So why are county officials and the county commission being so quiet about this murder? Surely a man’s life is more important than dogs and a man’s injured leg.
The problem is the work release facility is under the care of Escambia County, not Sheriff David Morgan, and is in the county’s Community Corrections Department that is run by Gordon Pike, who will be running the jail in less than 30 days. Interim County Administrator George Touart, who refused to talk to our reporter Jesse Farthing for this week’s feature story, doesn’t want anything to rock the jail transition or upset the Department of Justice that is negotiating how the county will correct its findings regarding the jail.
In 2007, the county commissioners hired Justice Concepts Incorporated (JCI) to make recommendations to improve our criminal justice system, reduce the overcrowding at the jail and look into the possibility of moving the jail away from the sheriff’s office to the county. The consultants’ final report never got released and their last invoice wasn’t paid.
The final report didn’t recommend moving the jail out of Sheriff David Morgan’s control. However, JCI had several issues with Pike’s Pre-Trial Services and the Work Release Facility. JCI cited the judge’s concerns over the lack of supervision at the facility. The county staff refused to listen and disputed the recommendations.
Now a man is dead. Hopefully someone will pay attention this time.