- Associated Press - Thursday, July 24, 2014

INKSTER, Mich. (AP) - A Detroit judge said Wednesday that it appears an ex-convict accused of killing a 2-year-old girl in front of her father should have been behind bars at the time she was fatally shot.

Raymone Jackson, 25, appeared Wednesday for arraignment before Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner in the first-degree murder case.

According to authorities, Jackson shot KaMiya Gross in the head outside a house in suburban Inkster on July 1. They said Jackson then wounded KaMiya’s father and a 13-year-old girl. The shootings were in retaliation for an earlier shooting in which Jackson held the girl’s father responsible, authorities said.

In court Wednesday, Groner asked a state Corrections Department official in court why Jackson was allowed to go free March 26.

Groner gave Jackson 11 months in jail in September in a drug case. At the time, Jackson was on parole for a 2010 drug conviction.

The official said the reasons for the release weren’t clear from the records before him.

According to Wayne County sheriff’s spokeswoman Paula Bridges, Jackson began serving the 11-month jail sentence last September and was released in March for good behavior because of his work while in jail. Bridges said the jail sentence was for a “non-violent, non-assaultive conviction.”

Before he left jail, the Michigan Department of Corrections “had the option to pick Jackson up” and return him to prison as a violation of parole in the 2010 conviction, but the state declined to do so, she said.

Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan told the Detroit Free Press that the state had no power to hold Jackson past June 25, the end of his parole in a 2010 case. And Marlan said the judge could have made sure Jackson stayed behind bars by giving him a prison sentence last September, rather than just jail time.

“The judge assessed his risk, all of the factors at play and made the decision that prison wasn’t warranted,” the prisons spokesman said. “We kind of take our lead off of the judge at the time of those sentences.”

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