Houston, TX – Christian Tristan was a 27-year-old that was shot to death last August, allegedly at the hands of David Cruz.
Christian’s mother, Ruth Tristan, who is still reeling from her son’s death, recently learned Cruz was released on a personal recognizance bond, meaning he didn’t have to pay a dime.
“I don’t know what to think anymore,” she said.
On Wednesday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez was looking at about 200 compassionate releases older inmates with health problems and non-violent crimes.
The sheriff wasn’t even considering Cruz as a compassionate release.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Cruz, 29, was detained in connection with his friend’s death because he couldn’t afford a $60,000 bond. He asked Judge DaSean Jones to lower his bond to $30,000 and impose electronic monitoring and pretrial supervision.
His lawyer stated in court documents Monday that the current pandemic “is certainly going to strike the Harris County jail population and spread like wildfire among inmates.” If Cruz were released, the lawyer said, he would live with his parents and work as an estimator at the family’s lamination business.
Judge Jones said yes and ordered him to wear an electronic monitoring device. The reported that they tried to contact the judge for comment, but he did not return their calls.
This is not the first time Cruz has been in trouble.
In 2011, Cruz was driving drunk and fled the scene of an accident. He left his 17-year-old friend Anthony Story in the car to die. Cruz was sentenced to five years in prison.
Christian Tristan would have turned 28 next week.
“This is how I celebrate my son’s birthday, by you releasing him,” his mother said. “It’s a slap in the face.”
To be honest with you Ruth, some of us are shocked that they even brought charges on Cruz. After all, the current DA and her most recent challenger took their “who can prosecute the least number of cases” competition to the Harris County voters.
It is almost as though Harris County and Houston are competing to stay up with New York City and the entire West Coast.
Prior to the March primaries, it seemed that there was a push to see who can be the most lenient District Attorney out of Harris County, Texas.
Harris County DA Kim Ogg was being challenged by a former prosecutor who promises to not only be more woke than Ogg, but to actually prosecute less crime.
Former prosecutor Audia Jones, one of the many Democrats that were challenging Ogg in the primary race, threw some shade toward the current DA’s recent $7.4 million budget request to hire more prosecutors.
Jones saw that as an opportunity to virtue signal on how we shouldn’t criminalize drugs users and “poverty”:
“Our criminal justice system can’t solve problems like drug addiction and poverty. As DA I will not prosecute drug possession and offenses that target poverty. We will lower caseloads that way.”
While not prosecuting drug addicts for simple possession is one thing, what does it mean to not prosecute “offenses that target poverty”? That depends on who you ask.
While there’s a correlation connecting poverty and crime in general, crimes where poverty is present factor is everything from shoplifting, burglary and robbery, to violent assaults.
So, is this aspiring DA planning not to prosecute vagrants because their increased likelihood to engage in criminal behavior in general? If so, Jones is going to give Ogg a run for her money on who is the most pro-crime DA.
The hopeful DA didn’t stop at just drug users and vagrants who won’t be prosecuted, she also said “sex workers” aren’t going to be prosecuted either.
A Twitter user whose profile said she was an advocate for sex workers asked Jones if her pronouncement included prostitution.
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Jones’ response was right on the money for being woke in 2019:
“Yes, I will not be prosecuting sex work as DA. Instead, I will make sure that our office is a place for sex workers to feel safe reporting real crimes against them- like assault and human trafficking. Harris County is the largest human trafficking in the US.”
Jones stated that indicting sex workers tends to make prostitutes who were victims of human trafficking, rape, and domestic violence scared to talk to police.
While there’s some dash of truth to that, you can’t say it’s illegal to commodify the body and then do nothing about it when someone is arrested for hooking; or simply focus on the “Johns” who create the demand.
Jaime Mercado, who is running Ogg’s reelection campaign stated that Ogg is going to go full-blown pro-sex worker, but will use the courts to redirect programs aimed to help them:
“We’re fully aware that prosecution of sex workers does nothing. It just keeps them in a cycle. She’s concentrated on the pimps and the traffickers,” she said.
She obviously doesn’t know much about how the sex trade works.
“A lot of times when you bring in a sex worker, they’re not going to be cooperative because it’s a cycle of abuse, but the sex workers have been invaluable in producing evidence to convict the traffickers and the pimps.”
Jones doubled down on being pro-hooker, saying:
“When we do things like diversion or any type of probation, we are still criminalizing those individuals.”
Jones further went on to imply that Ogg just prosecutes way too much crime, especially what Jones describes as victimless crime. Yet, according to Houston police, Ogg isn’t doing enough prosecuting at all.
Houston police have been in conflict with Ogg for nearly a year after accusing a former Houston officer for the decision of her department to not pursue a network of organized crime because sh e said he hadn’t investigated the case sufficiently.
That retired officer put Ogg on front-street via Facebook post that no one saw coming. Former Houston Police Officer Mark Stephens had the following to say online:
“In an attempt to defend herself and her office from failing to take action against these criminals, Ms. Ogg placed the blame squarely on me by stating that I ‘pushed’ a case on the DA’s office and offered ‘no evidence’ or ‘not enough evidence.
While it’s not unusual for a politician to look into a news camera and tell a lie or a factually incorrect statement … I feel compelled to respond in order to set the record straight.”
So, the DA’s office responded to that post by locking out Houston police officers from a county database used for criminal investigations.
If that move wasn’t enough, days later Trial Bureau Chief David Mitcham issued a memo to all the ADAs saying they could no longer speak with police about cases that were being tried. Instead, police could only talk to the chief prosecutor allocated to the court where the case was being adjudicated.
Ogg has a terrible track record of being tough on crime, and actually allowed a plea bargain to come from her office for someone accused of shooting three people, one of which was a 15-year-old girl.
Despite Clayton Brown having been arrested for shooting two people and bonding out to get arrested for shooting another person, the gunman spent zero days in jail or prison for both incidents.
In a almost laughable instance, Ogg’s office only charged someone with littering for throwing an illegally-owned gun out of their car.
Despite the almost lawless manner Ogg runs the office which she was elected to, apparently this is still too much for the local liberals.
If Ogg is not appeasing the far left community because she “prosecutes too much crime”, then Texas had better beware of the impending dumpster fire that is Jones; because it seems there’s even worse than Ogg.
But Jones will have to wait a few years and try again. Ogg won the primary with 54.5% (147,855) of the vote. This race saw 271,270 ballots cast. Sadly, Harris County has a population of 4.7 million people.
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