Police: Hard to keep 'habitual offender' with over 180 cases beh - KMOV.com

Police: Hard to keep 'habitual offender' with over 180 cases behind bars

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Jessie Wilson (Credit: St. Clair County) Jessie Wilson (Credit: St. Clair County)

A Metro East man has 181 cases against him in St. Clair County, but police have a hard time keeping him behind bars.

Swansea Police said 53-year-old Jessie Wilson is a “habitual offender” and was recently arrested for battery and resisting arrest.

St. Clair County records show Jessie Wilson has been charged with 181 total cases, including two criminal felonies, 85 criminal misdemeanors, 23 traffic offenses, and 71 ordinance violations.

Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson said they’ve taken more than 90 calls for service in Swansea for Wilson.  

Every time Wilson is released from jail, he becomes more and more violent – so they’re not sure what to do with him, said Chief Johnson.

“What complicates it significantly is that if he's charged with a felony then they have more of a hold over him and force him to do things,” said Chief Johnson. “When he's charged with misdemeanors which is a lot of what he's doing, battery, resisting arrest, intoxicated pedestrian it's tougher to be able to force him to go into programming.”

After Wilson’s recent arrest, Chief Johnson said they talked St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly to talk about how to keep Wilson behind bars longer.

“We placed a hold on him in the jail, we go to the states attorney's office and speak to Brendan Kelly's employees there and they issue a long form misdemeanor - it makes the bond higher - and it makes it where the judges looks at this and goes wait a minute, this is a problem child that needs to be addressed. So I think everybody's trying, I just don't know exactly what the solution is, but what we're afraid of is somebody going to get hurt,” said Johnson.

Recently, Wilson’s bond was set by a St. Clair County Judge a $10,000.00.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Wilson was still in the St. Clair County Jail. 

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