Residents of a quiet neighborhood in Sacramento, California, are angry that a violent criminal released through the state’s “zero bail policy” allegedly sexually assaulted their 61-year-old neighbor, then killed her and her two dogs.
“It’s more sadness. We feel for her and the dogs and how they passed. We hope they didn’t suffer,” said Mark Sousa to KOVR-TV.
Police say that Troy Davis, 51, sexually assaulted Mary Tibbitts in her home, then murdered her and killed her two dogs before setting her home on fire.
The suspect was captured masturbating on a neighbor’s surveillance camera the day before the brutal assault and murder, according to the California Globe.
Davis was a parolee with a violent criminal past but he was allowed to be released under the “zero bail policy” after he was arrested for allegedly stealing a car.
California had implemented the zero bail policy in order to ease the strain on their law enforcement system from the coronavirus pandemic.
Critics warned that easing bail requirements would lead to more crime.
District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert told KOVR that California is experiencing a “tsunami” of violent crimes.
“The public, I think, would be shocked to learn about this, ‘what do you mean we’re going to let this person out on zero bail?'” she said.
Police said they did not believe the victim and the suspect knew each other.
Harvey Sanchez, a neighborhood friend to Tibbitts, told KOVR that she attended block parties with her dogs.
“She was very, very big on her dogs. They were old dogs, and we loved them,” he said.
On Thursday, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Councilmember Katie Valenzuela pressed for changes to the prison release system over the horrendous incident.
“We cannot simply release people from jail onto the streets without working harder to ensure that they are getting the treatment and services they desperately need to prevent them from harming themselves or others,” read a joint statement from Steinberg and Valenzuela.
“Our system is broken,” they added.
Neighbors planned a vigil and protest on Thursday evening to demand answers about the horrific crime.