Convicted Killer Who Escaped Psych Hospital Out on Bail After Gun Charge
CORONA — A "serious gang member" who spent 14 years in prison for a brutal subway assault and killing and who escaped from a psych hospital in January is back out on bail after being arrested for carrying a gun in July, according to the Department of Corrections.
Raymond Morillo, 33, was released on $75,000 bail on Tuesday — less than the $200,000 bail requested by prosecutors — after police pulled him over on July 20 for having overly-tinted windows and found a .44-caliber revolver in his car, according to the Queens District Attorney's office.
A police source said he considered Morillo a "serious gang member" who shouldn't be free to roam the streets.
"He was convicted of manslaughter, did 14 years, gets out, escapes from Creedmoor during psych evaluation, now he's back out here and he's caught driving around with a loaded gun," he said. "To me that makes him a threat."
Prosecutors requested a $200,000 bail for Morillo, but Judge John Zoll decreased it to $75,000, according to the DA's office.
A spokesman for the Office of Court Administration said the $75,000 bail for a charge like gun possession is "certainly on the higher end."
"In New York, bail can only be used to insure a defendant's return to court, not for punishment, and not for preventative detention," said David Bookstaver. "It's a lot of money to give up if you don't return to court, for anyone."
A lawyer for Morillo did not immediately respond to calls for comment.
Morillo is due back in court for his gun charge on Aug. 13, according to court records.
In May 1998, Morillo was charged with second degree murder for a shooting in Corona, but he pleaded down to manslaughter. Additional details about the case were sealed, according to the DA's office.
Then in January 1999, Morillo got into trouble again, when he and a friend followed two men onto an N train platform after an argument, according to the Queens DA's office.
Morillo and the friend approached their victims from behind and slashed them with razor blades from the bottom of the ear, across their cheeks and to the lip, leaving them permanently disfigured, the DA's office said.
Before fleeing, Morillo allegedly shouted "La Familia," which is a Latin street gang he is still affiliated with, a police source said.
He was imprisoned until December 2013, when he was transferred to Creedmoor Psychiatric Facility for a two-month evaluation, according to the DA's office.
Days before he was supposed to be released, he staged an escape from the facility on Jan. 28 by switching clothes with a visiting friend, the DA said.
He was caught in Tennessee the next day when police officers tracked him using his cell phone, the DA said.
Morillo was extradited to Queens, where he was arraigned again and charged with criminal impersonation for fleeing the hospital.
The case was set to be dismissed if he stayed out of trouble for six months.
He was due back in court on Nov. 21.