Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Texas court official sets $4 billion bond for murder suspect

Alfredo Watts | 12 February, 2017, 01:14

The $4 billion bond a Killeen man was facing for murder has been set aside and replaced with a $150,000 bond by District 27 judge John Gauntt.

According to law firm Nuttall & Coleman, the highest bond set in USA was $3 billion for NY real estate heir Robert Durst.

Another Bell County lawyer, Michael White, said the bond is created to protect the public not to be a punitive measure saying the bail was a "mockery".

The bond also caused problems with the jail's booking software, and county officials say they had to get new software in order to document the multi-billion dollar bond.

Lawyer Jeff Parker said the $4 billion bond could be challenged as unconstitutional. In fact, some other lawyers are referring to the constitution's eighth amendment, which protects against cruel and unusual punishment and specifically refers to protections against excessive bail or fines. Durst's bond was eventually lowered to $450,000.

Brown took the surprising move of addressing her decision on the bond amount to Facebook.

It should be noted that Brown was elected to her office in November 2016.

Bell County Deputy Chief Sheriff Chuck Cox told the Temple Daily Telegram he has never seen any bond set higher than $1 million. Three quarters of the people sitting in jail right now are sitting there because they can not afford to get out. The 25-year-old has been charged with the first-degree murder. Hall said he wasn't certain it would be lowered to the point where Willis could afford to post the amount and leave jail until his next court hearing.