An admitted prostitute pleaded guilty Monday to cutting off her tracking bracelet while freed pending sentencing — then asked to be freed again.
Iyerusale Bihon is one of three people accused of using a stolen ATM card to steal thousands of dollars from a 21-year-old New York man who died of a drug overdose in an Atlantic City motel room.
Kevin McDevitt Jr.’s parents believe the man was drugged and the death should be categorized as a murder. They started a website last month in a search for witnesses that they say has turned up some good leads in the case.
Dewight Greer, an alleged pimp, was indicted last year on charges of theft and providing the drugs that killed the Tuxedo, New York, man.
Meanwhile, both Bihon, 33, and co-defendant Ines Rodriguez, 32, have admitted to using the card to steal thousands.
After pleading Nov. 22, 2013, Bihon was released on her own recognizance with the restriction that she have a monitoring bracelet. But on Dec. 8, after leaving a message with her lawyer that she had some frustrations and fear, Bihon “removed the bracelet and removed herself from the state,” defense attorney Jeffrey Wilson told the judge Monday.
Wilson said that from December to February, he was kept abreast of how she was doing through messages left either by the defendant or her friends. Then, in February, she was arrested for solicitation in Maryland.
Now, Wilson said, she is working with the human-trafficking coordinator at the jail and getting help. He said the Women’s Center has offered her safe shelter if she’s released.
But that’s too late, Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Maher said.
“I’m not sure it’s a legal principle, but it’s a principle I learned,” Maher said. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Judge Kyran Connor agreed, keeping Bihon held until her sentencing in January.
“Mr. Maher makes a strong point from a common-sense point of view,” he said. “Cutting off a bracelet is a dramatic gesture.”
As part of her previous plea, she also must testify against Greer at trial. And the Sudan-born woman could end up deported.
A risk she told Connor she understands.
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