Police Identify Suspect in Skyline Murder Case; Authorities Question Why She Wasn't In Jail
Syracuse Police Detectives have a lead suspect in the murder of a 93-year-old woman at the Skyline Apartment building last week. Authorities are charging 23-year-old Victoria Afet with first degree murder in connection to the death of Connie Tuori.
Chief Kenton Buckner says Afet has a violent criminal history, but was free without bail.
“There is no question that we have to look to make sure that we are releasing the right people,” Buckner said. “And I think that individuals who are, through their behavior, committing violent acts in our city, that’s who the jails were built for."
Afet was facing three other allegations of violent crimes from last year, which Buckner said should have been strongly considered.
“Let’s go back twelve months and look at her history, what she was being arrested for, how she was being released, the types of crimes that she was committing,” Buckner said. “And the fact that just before this incident she had just assaulted a 74-year-old woman, those are the kinds of things that you would hope would [be] on the radar for someone to give this a level of scrutiny to get the kinds of outcomes that I think our community expects and deserves.”
Both Buckner and the Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick were careful not to name the judge who decided not to set bail, so as not to run afoul of rules that prohibit public criticism of a judge. But Fitzpatrick said even under bail reform, a judge does have the authority to set bail based on previous offenses.
“That’s why we asked for 50,000 dollars bail. What is distressing to me is that [going] from 50 to zero indicates that one of us was seriously wrong. And, I think we now know who it was that was wrong,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick said the recommended bail reflected the seriousness of the previous crime, and that was rejected. Since then, he said security cameras around the large building revealed Afet was in and out of complex for several days before the murder. Buckner said there’s no question the video footage played a major role in aiding their investigation.