More Than 130 Harris Co. Residents Have Lost Their Lives to Violent Offenders Out on Bail
HOUSTON – We’ve been telling you how judges are freeing repeat violent offenders from jail by granting them multiple felony bonds or personal recognizance bonds, which has cost more than 130 Harris Co. residents their lives.
A total of 138 residents who have died due to the courthouse’s revolving door system include an 83-year-old grandmother, 3 police officers, and three unborn children.
“Sadly the majority of the 138 victims of felony bond reform would be classified people of color minorities,” said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers.
Even though there’s no court order mandating it newly elected criminal district court judges took it upon themselves to grant bond to almost all defendants appearing before them no matter how long their criminal histories.
“We’ve seen defendants on 5 7 8 10 12 14 bonds that you ever saw ever,” Kahan said.
The 138 victims of felony bond reform are just the ones we are aware of.
“Keep in mind you’ve got hundreds of murders that haven’t been solved,” Kahan pointed out. “So we know this is kind of a low ball number.”
The district court judge with the most defendants he freed on bond who later picked up a murder charge is 182nd Judge Danny Lacayo with 10.
They include 41-year-old Johnny Zemeno.
“When it hits home it’s an unbearable pain,” said Alicia Perez.
6-month-old Jewel will never know her 30-year-old mother Delisha Leann Blate. Her mother Alicia Perez blames Zemeno and Judge Lacayo.
“She would be taking care of her children like I wanted her to raise her own children,” she said.
Second place is a tie. 262nd Judge Lori Chambers Gray and 230th Judge Chris Morton both have 9 defendants they repeatedly freed on bond who are now accused of murder.
Judge Lori Chambers Gray repeatedly freed 28-year-old Deerian Carroway now accused of killing 46-year-old Patrick Aikens
His sister Theresa Seck blames Judge Gray.
“Because of her decision my brother had to pay for his life and us as a family we have to deal with the aftermath and the pain,” she said.
230th Judge Chris Morton gave 30-year-old Jesus Gallegos five bonds in just a one-year period.
Now Gallegos is accused of murdering his 43-year-old girlfriend Rita Acosta.
Coming in third 180th Judge Desean Jones.
He repeatedly freed 8 defendants now accused of murder.
Jones gave Theresa Balboa a PR or get out of jail free card.
She’s now accused of killing 6-year-old Samuel Olson.
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