A man who confessed to fatally shooting East Palo Alto community leader David Lewis outside San Mateo’s Hillsdale Shopping Center less than three years ago is back on the streets.
Much to the chagrin of prosecutors, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Craig Parsons on Tuesday let Gregory Elarms out of jail on his own recognizance.
Elarms dodged murder charges after Superior Court Judge Stephen Hall ruled that San Mateo police violated his Miranda rights during his confession. In that conversation, prosecutors said, Elarms allegedly “muttered” something about needing an attorney.
The case is being appealed. Prosecutors have tried to keep Elarms off the streets by charging him with possessing weapons in jail, including a sharpened toothbrush. Elarms initially pleaded no contest to the weapons charges on the condition that he serve no more than four years in prison, but now he wants to withdraw his plea.
He will remain out of custody until at least March 5, when Parsons could decide whether to grant his request or sentence him on the weapons charges.