That may very well be the case when it comes to the man accused of murdering Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Isaac Cordero last week. William Shae McKay had a criminal history dating back more than 20 years; including a 2021 conviction on charges of false imprisonment, receiving stolen property and evading police officers. Unbelievably, McKay was still allowed to post bail and leave jail after that conviction in November of 2021; a decision that local law enforcement believe had a direct link to Cordero’s murder a little more than a year later.
He was facing a third-strike sentence of 25 years to life in prison, but his attorneys asked for a new trial and that one of his strikes be dismissed.
McKay’s bail was reduced from $950,000 to $500,000 while his case was pending, and he was released on bail in March. In October, a warrant was issued for his arrest when McKay failed to make a court appearance. The trial judge in his case was Cara D. Hutson.
Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco and San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson said the justice system had failed Deputy Cordero.
In a news release, Anderson noted his office opposed the bail reduction as well as the motion to dismiss a prior strike.
“Our office upheld our oath of pursuing justice by prosecuting convicted felon McKay in November of 2021, however a failure in the process to separate McKay from society and hold him accountable for his crimes has resulted in the tragic loss of a law enforcement deputy,” Anderson said.
Cordero’s uncle, Carlos Padilla, echoed his own frustration with the system and Judge Hutson.
“The law that he swore to uphold took his life,” Padilla said. “They said ‘You’re being dropped in the battlefield,’ and then they abandoned him. It’s so heart-wrenching that the same people we allow to be in office can do something like this.”
Hutson, a Democrat, was appointed to the San Bernardino County Superior Court bench in 2007 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Before that, she worked as a deputy district attorney from 1994 until her appointment. She was last elected in June 2022 when she ran unopposed.
Serious crimes that could have resulted in decades behind bars, but thanks to the judge’s largesse, McKay was able to post bail post-conviction and stroll out of custody free as a bird.
California lawmakers are set to resume their attacks on legal gun owners in just a few short days, with restricting the right to carry one of their top priorities for the new year. Ensuring that violent offenders like McKay stay behind bars, on the other hand, isn’t much of a concern for the politicians intent on carving up our Second Amendment rights into a never-ending series of non-violent possessory crimes. In the twisted worldview of the anti-gun left, guys like McKay are always deserving of another chance, while peaceable gun owners are considered a threat until or unless they’re disarmed.