Orange County home confinement program suspended

Last Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013, 2:57 PM EST
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Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Chief Judge Belvin Perry say they are suspending the home confinement program in the county after the death of a teen.

The move comes after the death of 19-year-old Alex Zaldivar from an Ocoee home invasion in September 2012. Bessman Okafur was accused of committing the murder while on home confinement.

Jacobs and Perry said the death of Zaldivar was a “loss to family and the entire community.”

They also announced there will be two internal investigations and they are hiring an independent firm to look at the entire justice system in Orange County.

Perry said there will be a zero tolerance policy and those responsible will be held accountable.

"Our focus is that we don't make the same mistake again. The folks who are responsible, whether its corrections or the court systems, we will all take our lumps," Perry said.

There are currently 227 people using the home confinement program in Orange County. They will stay using the program, however, they will be monitored. Seven home confinement workers have been re-assigned.

At the time of the home confinement, Okafor was facing 14 robbery and assault charges. He was placed on home confinement, which required him to wear a home monitoring device.

That device alerted Orange County Corrections when Okafor was not home. But documents show, he violated his curfew dozens of times before the night Zaldivar was killed.

It's the job of the corrections department to notify the court if someone is violating curfew, which did not happen.

Orange County Corrections Department spokesman Allen Moore wouldn't address why it was never reported, but did release a statement.

"The Corrections Department has no authority to place the defendant in custody. When a defendant fails to abide by the rules of the program we can petition the court to revoke the defendant's home confinement."

Okafor’s case has prompted an internal investigation to figure out if home confinement policies were followed properly.

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