Court records: Warrant delay let Christopher Redding bond out of jail
By Julie Gargotta, Christina Jensen, Christie Zizo | Team Coverage
Posted March 01, 2017
Christopher Redding Jr., the Orange County man who shot a deputy and was killed during the confrontation Tuesday, should have been in jail, according to Orange County court records.
- Warrant issued for Redding for violating probation terms
- Was let out of jail before warrant reached office
- Redding was killed in confrontation with deputies Tuesday
Redding was booked on Jan. 28 for three robberies, including two against elderly woman. He bonded out of jail on Feb. 5 for $45,000.
But court records show Redding was on probation after serving time in prison for 2012 conviction for aggravated battery with a firearm.
According to Orange County Corrections spokesperson Tracy Zampaglione, Redding was identified as a "violent offender," the designation granting the Florida Department of Corrections "a five-day administrative hold."
On Feb. 2 a judge signed an arrest warrant for Redding for violating the terms of his probation because of the robbery arrest.
Redding's probation began in 2015 and did not end until November 2017.
But when Redding bonded out on Feb. 5, a background screening did not produce any active warrants.
That warrant did not hit the probation office and the Clerk of Courts until a week later, on Feb. 9.
On Tuesday, deputies say Redding shot at them while they tried to serve him a warrant at the Park Central Apartments. Sgt. Robert Stelter was shot several times, but released from Orlando Regional Medical Center Wednesday. Redding was killed while trying to escape deputies.
“Why that delay took place, we don’t really know," said Mark NeJame with NeJame Law. "But, there are procedures in place where the Clerk’s Office should be able to get it rather instantaneously."
NeJame is not directly involved in the case, but he suggested that an overloaded system and limited resources might explain the lag.
“We have a massive overload," NeJame said. "We literally have tens of thousands of outstanding warrants in Orange County that have not been served. We would like to say it happens instantaneously, but it could’ve been that they made many efforts to find the person.”
In an email Wednesday, Ninth Judicial Circuit Court Chief Deputy Administrator Karen Connolly Levey said time-sensitive cases, especially violent offenders, "are walked through and are not dropped off," as per an agreement between the court and the Department of Corrections.
The case was so imminent to the court, described as an "emergency issue," that "Judge Apte served as back-up judge for Judge Kest" while he was out of country on another trial.
Levey said she was not sure why a warrant of this nature wasn't walked through. She said the responsibility falls upon the probation officer to complete the process and check on outstanding warrants.