WALTHAMHe was in their grasp and then he was gone. Jared W. Remy was arraigned in Waltham District Court Wednesday on charges of slamming Jennifer Martel’s face into a mirror in their townhouse. But prosecutors declined to seek bail, allowing him to leave the court with nothing more than an order not to abuse Martel, with whom he lived and had a 4-year-old daughter. The following night, police were called back to the townhouse in Waltham, where they found Remy covered in blood and Martel, his girlfriend, slashed to death beside a pink tricycle and other toys on their patio.“If they had kept him, maybe my daughter would be alive today,” Martel’s mother, Patty, said in an interview. “But he went back and finished the job.” On Friday, the top Middlesex prosecutor defended the decision to not seek bail for Remy earlier in the week. “On Wednesday, a [bail] request was made based on the information that we had on Wednesday,” said Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan. “Obviously and tragically, there is different information today, Friday morning.’’

On Wednesday, after his arrest the previous night on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, Remy was released with few conditions. Ryan said her office recommended Remy’s release based, in part, on a conversation prosecutors had with Martel and with Waltham police. “Mr. Remy was released on personal recognizance with a bail warning and a no-abuse order,’’ Ryan said. According to the docket at Waltham District Court, Martel obtained an emergency restraining order against Remy at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, which remained in effect until Wednesday when the courthouse opened. But she did not appear in court Wednesday, and the restraining order expired.“Because Ms. Martel elected not to extend the restraining order and did not come to court on Wednesday morning’’ Remy was released, McGovern said. Patty Martel said her daughter did not press to renew the restraining order at the request of the Remy family. Jennifer had spoken to Remy’s mother, who begged her not to file any kind of complaint because it would ruin Remy’s life; she also told Jennifer they would protect her, Patty Martel said.

Even without Jennifer Martel’s cooperation, prosecutors could have asked that Remy be held under the state’s dangerousness law, which was enacted in the early 1990s to give prosecutors a tool in the fight against domestic violence. Middlesex prosecutors did use that law when Remy was charged in 2005 with kicking, punching, and dragging his former girlfriend, which led to his being held for at least 81 days at Middlesex jail, according to court records. On Friday, prosecutors acknowledged openly that Remy had a long criminal history, but did not say whether they were aware of that history on Wednesday.

Obviously this is a disgusting story. But if there is any silver lining to this tragedy maybe it will be that it changes domestic abuse laws in this country once and for all. Like yes it’s easy to criticize Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan here. Clearly there was no way in hell Remy should have been free after he slammed Jennifer Martel’s head into a mirror the night before. Especially in light of the fact he was a repeat offender with a long history of violence and abuse. I have no problem with anybody who says the DA essentially put the knife in Remy’s hand by letting him walk.

But the bigger issue for me is why was letting him leave jail even an option in the first place? Why did the prosecutor even have to make a decision here? The bottom-line is if you beat a woman once it should be an automatic 5 year prison sentence.  If you hit a woman twice it should be life in prison. That’s a repeat offender who is never going to stop. There should be no grey area.  I don’t care if the girl presses charges or not. I don’t care if the victim shows up in court or not. It doesn’t matter. If you hit a woman then you are a psycho scumbag who needs to be removed from society.  So as tragic as this entire event is hopefully the fact that Jared Remy has a famous last name will help draw attention to this and change these archaic laws. There is just no rationale how a repeat woman beater is allowed to live freely in society.  Some things you shouldn’t keep getting 2nd chances for and beating a girl is one of them.  It’s as heinous a crime as there is and if you keep letting guys like Jared Remy walk we’ll keep having stories like these.