Victim’s family asks why murder suspect was released on electronic monitor before crime

CHARLOTTE — Isaac Ardrey used to love singing with his younger brother, Clarence.

That’s what made the moment he sang to Clarence so emotional.

“It was just something in my spirit man, something in my spirit,” Isaac Ardrey said, tearing up. “I felt like my brother would have liked to hear that.”

Clarence was there, but he was in a casket.

“It would have been so good if he would have been there alive to share it with me, but he wasn’t,” Isaac Ardrey said.

Clarence Ardrey was stabbed to death in his apartment in April. Courtney McKoy is now charged with his death.

McKoy has a lengthy criminal history. She’s been in and out of jail for several other stabbings, and was even put on an electronic monitor -- which she’s accused of cutting off.

McKoy is also accused of repeatedly violating the terms of her release. Now, we know she was let out of jail two days before Ardrey’s murder on an electronic monitor -- again.

“If she had so many things against her, why did they turn her loose in the beginning?” Isaac Ardrey asked. “Why didn’t they keep her in there?”

It’s a question Channel 9 wanted to get answered as well. Why would someone be allowed on a monitor, after so many incidents? And even further, how often is this happening?

We were surprised by what we uncovered.

In a snapshot of the 12-month period from April 2021 to March 2022, records provided by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department show nearly 2,000 offenders were let out on monitors.

During that time, 422 monitors were revoked after the offender violated the terms of release. 62 people were charged with a felony while wearing a monitor -- that includes:

Judge Elizabeth Trosch agreed to sit down with Channel 9 and talk about the electronic monitoring program. She’s the chief district court judge for Mecklenburg County. While she couldn’t talk about specific cases, she understands the frustration.

“We are using the tools that we have, the best way that we can to address the risks that we assess at that pretrial stage. And they are not always adequate,” Judge Trosch said.

But in North Carolina, someone charged with a crime has the right to a pretrial release with reasonable conditions, like a bond. There are limited exceptions that include being charged with first-degree murder.

The idea behind the electronic monitoring program is to keep a closer eye on a defendant who posts a bond and is released. Cases where people repeatedly commit crimes while out are rare, but they may expose a weakness in the cash bail system.

“Money doesn’t necessarily protect us,” Trosch said. “I honestly think it shows us is a huge gap in tools and responses available to the court, dealing with people who really present a risk of harm to the community.”

Bu it’s too late for Adrey and his brother. He wants to see stiffer penalties and a system that prevents this from ever happening again.

“What good are they? What good are they at all?” Ardrey asked.

“I don’t think they should have a monitor on and go to the grocery store. They should be able to go to the front door, back door, kitchen and bed. That’s it,” he added.

(WATCH BELOW: Man released from jail, accused of robbing banks while wearing electronic monitor, police say)