SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Ozell Stanley has the opportunity to post bail and leave the Onondaga County Justice Center in Syracuse to receive medical treatment after his family accused three Onondaga County Sheriff’s deputies of severely beating him in his jail cell.
Judge Mary Anne Doherty agreed to set bail at $2,500 after Stanley was initially housed at the downtown jail without bail on multiple felony charges.
Tuesday, Stanley appeared in person for the emergency bail hearing. He was able to support himself and appeared alert, but he had visible bruising around his eyes and face. His attorney, Keith Young, told Judge Doherty that a medical professional needs to take a look at Stanley.
ADA John P. Walker requested bail to be set at $30,000 cash, $60,000 bond and $100,000 partially secured bond. He said that this was based on the felony charges Stanley faces and prior missed appearances for other issues. The judge ended up siding with Young’s request of $2,500 for cash, bond and partially secured bond, with Young stating that the family can’t afford much.
Young said he didn’t know what specifically was to blame for Stanley’s injuries; it wasn’t brought up by ADA Walker, and Judge Doherty didn’t ask. As Stanley left the room, his mother yelled out, telling him that she loved him. He said “I love you too,” with his mother going on to say “Justice for Ozell.”
Thomas Newton, a spokesperson for the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office, confirms Stanley was hospitalized for at least one full day at Upstate University Hospital after an “incident” on Sunday, Jan. 21.
Sources that are familiar with the situation inside the jail say that Stanley is suffering from a brain bleed, broken eye sockets and a loss of hearing in one ear. There are concerns that he will need severe dental work to account for possible damage around his jaw.
The ADA and the defense attorney told the judge they were close to coming to an agreement regarding felony charges that landed Stanley in the downtown jail in the first place, still negotiating behind closed doors. Court paperwork reveals a series of crimes that Stanley allegedly committed in October of last year.
On Oct. 6, a person identifying themselves as Stanley’s girlfriend to police told them that Stanley had choked and kicked her while he was high on fentanyl. The complaint further states that he destroyed her smartphone.
On Oct. 11, Stanley assaulted a person in downtown Syracuse on Jefferson Street, according to court paperwork. Arresting officers with Syracuse Police claim Stanley punched the victim multiple times in the face and kicked them in the body before ripping the victim’s earring out of their ear, causing the ear lobe to split.
On Oct 12, near the same address where the Oct. 11 assault allegedly occurred, the LM Social restaurant got a Full Stay Away Order granted against Stanley. On Oct. 19, Stanley allegedly entered the restaurant, threatening to “blow everyone’s brains out” with a gun, according to court papers. That same day, he is accused of stealing $6,500 worth of jewelry from someone on Highland Street.
On Nov. 5, the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office alleges that Stanley punched a deputy in the side of the head after the deputy asked Stanley to remove a mattress that was blocking his jail cell door. The deputy required medical attention, and Stanley’s punch broke his prescription glasses. Newton said that the deputy involved in this incident was not involved in what happened on Jan. 21.
Ryan McCall, a legal expert with Tully Rinckey, said that Judge Doherty’s decision to grant Stanley bail is somewhat rare given he was put in jail without bail in the first place. He said that this situation gives credibility to the claim that he is suffering from severe injuries. He said it’s also possible that the judge took into account the claims of assault at the hands of jail deputies, and wanted to avoid leaving him in a hostile environment; though Judge Doherty did not refer to the alleged incident in court.
Stanley’s family has retained the legal services of AJ Bosman and Norman Deep out of Utica. Both have dealt with civil rights issues with local law enforcement in the past; Bosman is currently representing Deputy Kamilla Peck, who sued the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office under then-Sheriff Eugene Conway for alleged racism.
“Nobody … whatever you may be, should ever be treated in the manner he [Stanley] was,” Deep said.