A judge rejected prosecutors’ request to hold a Marengo man in jail and released him after he was arrested for attacking a woman, who is the same victim in the man’s six pending criminal cases.
Zachary L. McMackin, 36, of Marengo, was most recently charged with two counts of domestic battery and violation of bail bond.
A criminal complaint filed in McHenry County Circuit Court alleges McMackin kicked his girlfriend in the head while she was sleeping around 9:45 p.m. on September 26 in Marengo.
The woman suffered swelling to her face and blood in her right ear canal, the complaint said.
An arrest warrant was issued for McMackin on September 28 and he was taken into custody on October 13.
Court records show McMackin was out on pre-trial release for five other criminal cases at the time of the sixth incident.
All six of his current pending criminal cases involve the same victim. It was alleged McMackin struck the victim’s head, causing bleeding, bruising or swelling in the three domestic battery cases.
The charges in the six cases all involve domestic battery and violation of bail bond and occurred in Marengo in the past 11 months.
McMackin had previously been ordered to have no contact with his girlfriend.
Prosecutors said McMackin has an extensive criminal history that includes 23 prior arrests.
The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office filed a petition to detain McMackin pending trial after his arrest in the most recent case, which occurred after the Pretrial Fairness Act of the SAFE-T Act went into effect.
Prosecutors argued McMackin is a real and present danger to the victim.
A detention hearing was held following McMackin’s arrest this month in front of McHenry County Judge Jennifer Johnson.
Johnson found there had been “consistent and persistent violence against [the] same victim” as well as “consistent and persistent failure to comply with court orders.”
Despite the judge’s finding, she found that less restrictive conditions than holding McMackin in jail would ensure he does not violate any laws or court orders and appears at future court hearings.
Johnson denied prosecutors’ request to hold McMackin in the McHenry County Jail and released him.
She ordered him to be placed on GPS monitoring and have no contact with the victim.
The state’s attorney’s office has filed an appeal of the decision with the Illinois Appellate Court Second District.
“Criminal behavior, which has a cost in terms of human suffering of innocent and defenseless people, becomes endemic when there are no material efforts to forestall entirely foreseeable future criminal behavior or when a court system suspends commonsense to mechanically enforce not only the terms, but also the perceived intentions and ideology underlying the SAFE-T Act,” McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said in a statement Thursday.
“At some point, it is incumbent upon the court system to adapt the SAFE-T Act to the demands of reality and the needs and safety of a community,” Kenneally said.