Harris Co. judges granting bonds to ex-cons charged with felon in possession of weapon at an alarming rate
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Raymond Young and Delvin Clemons have a lot in common. Both men are 44 and have many mugshots.
“Both of them have lengthy criminal histories, both have been convicted of violent offenses,” said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers.
Clemons has 17 felony convictions.
In October 2021, 232nd Criminal District Court Judge Josh Hill granted him bond for felon in possession of a weapon.
“A month later, he gets charged again for felon in possession of a weapon,” Kahan said. “You would have thought that would have been the end of the story, he gets out on bond again.”
Last month, police said Clemons shot and killed Keishan Betts at an apartment complex at 270 El Dorado Blvd.
There was a time when judges were hesitant to grant bond to defendants charged with felon in possession of a weapon.
“That’s absolutely true,” said Ray Hunt, Executive Director of the Houston Police Union. “I talked to the District Attorney in Montgomery County. He says he remembers one time when something like that happened.”
But some Harris County Criminal Court Judges grant bond all the time for defendants charged with felon in possession of a weapon.
“Very low bonds, where it’s only going to take maybe $1,000 to get out,” said Kahan.
Raymond Young, a convicted sex offender has a dozen convictions, including felon in possession of a weapon.
On May 7, 180th Criminal District Court Judge Desean Jones granted him a $10,000 bond for assault of a family member.
14 days later, police say Young shot and killed 17-year-old John Smith at 1329 East 35th Street.
“When you’ve got people who are felons in possession of a firearm out on multiple bonds, getting arrested again, that person should get a no bond or at least a million dollar bond,” Hunt said.