Slain Army vet's mother blames bail reform for letting accused murderer walk free

Eric Shawn: Bail reform blamed for freeing accused murderer

Madeline Brame's son, a U.S. Army vet, was stabbed to death and one of his accused killers walks the streets

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NEW YORK CITY – Hason Correa, who served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, was savagely stabbed to death in Harlem in 2018, at the age of 35. Police say the retired sergeant's attackers were two brothers, their sister, and a fourth man. The men remain behind bars, but the woman, Mary Saunders, was granted bail.

Correa's mother, Madeline Brame, blames progressive politicians for rewarding her son's alleged killer.

"They attacked my son that he didn't know, nor had he done them any harm. And he was butchered to death," she says.

"It's a disgrace. It's an atrocity. Hason is dead forever. These people should spend the rest of their life in prison forever."

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Saunders faces murder and gang assault charges, as do the other defendants. She is accused of holding Hason as her brothers stabbed him nearly a dozen times, including through the heart. Brame says bail reform cut Saunders' bond from an original $750,000 to only $12,000, which was the amount Saunders said she could afford.

She says seeing Saunders walk in and out of court is "torture."

Alvin Bragg in New York City during his campaign for district attorney in November 2021. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images, File)

"I get very angry because she has all the security around her. She has five or six legal aides on a team. Why are my tax dollars, why are your tax dollars, being spent on protecting and defending someone who just slaughtered another human being? Why?"

Brame wants Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to return Saunders to jail, but so far the accused murderer's bail has not been revoked and Democratic state legislators in Albany refuse to change the loosened bail reform laws.

New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, defend the reduced bail measures.

"I mean, it's unfortunate that people have found that this is a very easy way to sort of demonize one side, and, and not do much work," says Stewart-Cousins.

She claims the new reform laws help "Black and Brown and poor defendants."

Alvin Bragg in June 2021.

Alvin Bragg in June 2021. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

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But Brame, who is Black, says it helps criminals.

"I'm horrified," she says of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's 20-year cap on murder convictions, for example. "It's a disgrace. It's an atrocity. Hason is dead forever. These people should spend the rest of their life in prison forever."

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, is pushing for tougher punishments and rolling back some of the criminal justice reform made in the name of progressive politics.

"We need help to stop putting people back on the street that are dangerous," he says.

"I'm going to be clear, you cannot bring on the bench your philosophy and your theory. You must bring on the bench keeping this city safe. That's the goal, and whatever powers we have to ensure that we keep our bench staffed with the right judges that are going to have the right balance of justice and safety."

"Prosecutors prosecute. We're not in there to be a social justice warrior," says Brame. "We're in there to punish people for the crimes that they have committed."

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Correa left a widow and three small children under the age of 9. A GoFundMe page has been established, "The Family of Hason Correa."

Madeline Brame said she's "horrified" by the 20-year cap on murder convictions backed by Bragg.

Madeline Brame said she's "horrified" by the 20-year cap on murder convictions backed by Bragg. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)

"Hason doted over his family and his children. He loved them very much," Brame says.

"He was a tremendous soldier. He was a hero. He didn't tell me a lot about it, you know, but one of the things that he was very proud of was that his mission was to save women, children and his battle buddies. Whatever he did, that was his objective, to make sure all the women and children and his battle buddies got out alive."

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"He was just amazing," says his proud mother. "He's my oldest son and I loved him, you know, loved him to pieces."

Brame plans to join other crime victims’ advocates at a "Stop the Violence, Call to Action Rally" in front of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office to call on rolling back the progressive bail reform measures. She and the others plan to protest at Mary Saunders' next court appearance, when she walks into the criminal court building for a hearing on Feb. 7.

Fox News’ Tamara Gitt and Ben Evansky contributed to this report.

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