Horrifying statistics revealed at Senate hearing on a bill meant to stop repeat violent offenders

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AUSTIN, TX – During a state Senate hearing in March regarding a bill to address violent offenders committing new offenses while out on multiple felony or personal recognizance bonds, officials shared some troubling statistics that showcased the increase in violent offenses allegedly being committed by defendants out on bond.

The Senate hearing in question related to discussing Senate Bill 21, which the bill aims to alleviate the issues that have arisen relating to defendants released from jail on bond allegedly committing new offenses.

State Senator Joan Huffman was among those sharing concerns during the hearing with regard to the attainability of either low-cash bonds or personal recognizance bonds:

“We’ve seen an increase in violent and habitual offenders being released on personal recognizance bonds or PR bonds, along with low cash bonds, which is a direct threat to public safety in all our communities.”

Senator Huffman is among those sponsoring Senate Bill 21, in an effort to reduce instances where defendants get released from jail only to allegedly reoffend.

During this hearing, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg presented data to showcase the upward trend in beneficiaries of various bonds allegedly reoffending upon their release from jail:

“We see homicides committed by people on bond… 72 homicides in the year 2020 committed by people out on bond compared to 37 in 2015.”

It’s not just murder that has been increasing in these sorts of scenarios, but other violent offenses such as rape, assault, and robberies.

The DA shared the statistics on those trends, which are as follows:

  • In 2015, there were 23 rapes allegedly committed by defendants out on bond. In 2020, that number increased to 92.
  • In 2015, there were 667 assaults allegedly committed by defendants out on bond. In 2020, that number increased to 3,028.
  • In 2015, there were 231 robberies allegedly committed by defendants out on bond. In 2020, that number increased to 634.
  • Overall, in 2015, there were roughly 3,200 defendants out on bond that allegedly committed 6,438 offenses while released. In 2020, there were roughly 10,500 defendants out on bond that had allegedly committed 18,796 offenses while released.

DA Ogg summed it up, without mincing her words, saying that there’s clearly a strong correlation between defendants released on bond and new offenses being committed by those defendants while released:

“Crime is up ladies and gentlemen, and it is associated with bail.”

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In other recent news regarding defendants released on bond allegedly reoffending, a man in Houston was alleged to have gone on an armed robbery spree while out on 11 different bonds. 

Here’s that previous report from earlier in March. 

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HOUSTON, TX – A 19-year-old suspect who was out of jail on 11 different bonds was alleged to have committed a string of armed robberies earlier in March while released. 

With the suspect in custody, the issue at hand once again brings scrutiny to the practice of judges affording bond on new charges, when suspects are re-arrested while out on previous bonds

Andy Kahan from Crime Stoppers described the case of 19-year-old Jose Perez as one he has “never seen” with regard to a suspect being re-arrested while out on 11 different bonds from other cases.

Kahan said:

“I have never ever seen since Jose Perez came along, someone with double digit bonds and that’s 11.”

Harris County 230th Criminal District Court Judge, Chris Morton, is reportedly the judge responsible for seeing Perez being afforded bond on his previous cases, before allegedly going on an armed robbery spree between March 2nd and 3rd. 

The teenage suspect had allegedly knocked off three establishments at gunpoint point; which police say were a Circle K at 5091 FM 2351, a Chevron at 5450 FM 2351, and a Cindies Novelties Store at 18201 Gulf Freeway.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo rhetorically asked the following about the matter:

“Why is a person on 11 bonds going around robbing people?”

Kahan is also rightfully confused as to why a judge would even consider affording someone bond for an eleventh time, when the previous ten instances were obviously not effective.

He said:

“You would think that the court would say you know what Mr. Perez, this bond thing just ain’t working.”

While there are no reports of anyone being harmed in the cases related to Perez, the same cannot be said about a man whose bond was reinstated and then later arrested for a double homicide. 

Back in July of 2020, 35-year-old Derrick Hayes reportedly had several bonds revoked after acquiring new criminal charges. 

Yet – for reasons unknown – Hayes’ bond was reinstated in November of 2020 and he was able to walk free from jail. 

From what Kahan says, that jail release resulted in the lives of a child and a grandmother being taken.

Kahan said: 

“That decision cost a grandmother and a 15-year-old boy their lives, no if, ands, or buts.”

On March 2nd, Hayes was charged with the murders of 71-year-old Carmen Hayes and 15-year-old Alexander Bryce. According to reports, their deaths mark the 98th and 99th Harris County locals allegedly murdered by a suspect freed from jail on several bonds.

Chief Acevedo said it’s a case that, “we should all be outraged about.”

The HPD chief likens the practice of judges simply affording defendants bail after acquiring new charges while on previous bonds as being tantamount to “not caring about victims”.

The Chief said:

“We now have members of the judiciary who absolutely are not caring about victims, aren’t caring about speedy trials, aren’t caring about justice.

“I’m not sure what they are caring about, because what they’re doing is getting people killed and people victimized, and that’s something we should all be concerned about.”

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