A retired 77-year-old Amagansett man spent five days in county jail last week, after East Hampton town police charged him with two felony counts of assault with a weapon with intent to do injury in an alleged domestic violence incident.
Juan Marte-Falette is accused of whipping and striking two women multiple times with a leather belt in a bedroom of their residence late night August 4, raising welts on their bodies, and badly bruising both of them. In addition to the felony charges, Marte-Falette is also facing two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child. There were two minors present in the bedroom where the alleged attack happened.
East Hampton Town Justice Steven Tekulsky issued an order of protection for all the alleged victims at the arraignment. Tekulsky said that the District Attorney’s office had asked that bail be set at $30,000. Matthew D’Amato, Marte-Falette’s attorney from the Legal Aid Society, asked that bail be set at $500, which is the amount his client gets in Social Security payments every week.
While the DA’s requested bail seemed excessive, Tekulsky said, given the severity of the charges, he would set bail at $5000.
Unable to post that amount, Marte-Falette was taken to jail in Riverside. Under the law governing such circumstances, the DA’s office had five days to obtain an indictment from a grand jury, or release Marte-Falette. He was released on Friday, August 9.
Instead of moving the case to State Court, which would have happened if an indictment had been forthcoming, the case could remain in the local courthouse, to be adjudicated at the misdemeanor level, unless an indictment is obtained at a future date.