The “focus” of the homicide investigation into a child’s killing last month, who is being held without bail on an unrelated contempt charge, is making a bid for bail.
But a prosecutor in the contempt case argued Wednesday that the homicide investigation makes the man a greater risk of flight.
John J. Batease, 32, of 611 Hattie St., is being held on a first-degree criminal contempt charge filed in the wake of the child’s death last month.
Batease is the man who brought 20-month-old homicide victim Asiah Maxam out of the 611 Hattie St. home to summon paramedics June 19.
Batease has been held without bail on the contempt count due to his criminal history, which includes two felonies. He appeared in court Wednesday to ask for bail in his case.
Among prosecutor Christina Tremante-Pelham’s arguments for a higher bail was the homicide case.
“Mr. Batease is aware of the fact that he is, in fact, the focus of a homicide investigation,” Tremante-Pelham told the court.
The prosecutor added a short time later, “we bring that up because we know the defendant is aware of it. It impacts his risk of flight.”
Should charges be filed in the child’s death, Tremante-Pelham argued Batease would face significant time upon conviction. Batease has previously been identified as a “person of interest” in Asiah’s death. Batease has been described as the boyfriend of Asiah’s mother at the time of Asiah’s death.
No decision was made on Batease’s bail status Wednesday. Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago ordered a hearing to be held later this month to explore allegations by prosecutors that Batease has continued to violate the order of protection that is the basis for the current contempt count.
Batease defense attorney Kent Gebert is seeking bail for Batease to be set at $10,000. He argued that Batease had a steady job, would live with his fiance on Van Vranken Street and has ties to the community through children.
But he also has an extensive criminal history, including an arrest a decade ago in Virginia, noted by Drago.
Drago asked about his children, and child support. Batease indicated he was $23,000 behind in support payments due, he said, to incarcerations.
Tremante-Pelham requested $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.
Tremante-Pelham noted that Batease has failed to appear in court in the past. She also noted the allegations of continued violations of the order of protection. Tremante-Pelham indicated they took the form of phone calls from the jail.
Batease and the protected woman have a child in common. Batease is to have no contact with her, other than court-ordered visitation related to the child.
But the only charge currently filed against Batease is the contempt count.
The charge stems from allegations the morning after Asiah’s death, and actions performed directly in front of officers.
After the police interview of Batease concerning Asiah’s death concluded, he asked to make a phone call, authorities have said. An investigator gave Batease a cellphone and Batease called the mother of his own child. There was a conversation, authorities have said, but investigators quickly realized who Batease had called and arrested him.
He has been held at the Schenectady County Jail without bail since.