SB 1318 aiming to stop judges from granting PR bonds to felons with weapons
Push underway to stop judges from granting PR bonds to felons with weapons
FOX 26 Reporter Randy Wallace explains what lawmakers are trying to do in this edition of ‘Breaking Bond.’
HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – Some judges routinely grant PR, or personal recognizance bonds, or get out of jail free cards, to defendants charged with felon in possession of a weapon, even if that weapon is a machine gun.
“Since 2018 in Houston, we’ve seen felons in possession of a weapon cases triple,” said Sydney Zuiker with Crime Stoppers.
Right now, there are 1,170 pending cases of felon in possession of a weapon in Harris County.
“If they were going to abide by the law, their debt to society is paid so to speak, then they wouldn’t have a weapon that they’re using in a secondary crime and getting caught with it,” Zuiker said.
We’ve seen defendants, like 30-year-old Quinton Allen, who was granted a PR bond for felon in possession of a weapon, go on to allegedly commit murder.
Earlier this month, we told you about 12 defendants charged with possession of a weapon a machine gun all walk out of jail on PR or get out of jail free cards.
“Right now, we are averaging anywhere from 30 to 40 defendants a month getting out on a get out of jail free card,” said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers.
Senate Bill 1318 would prohibit Judges from granting PR bonds to defendants charged with felon in possession of a weapon. It’s an amendment to Senate Bill 6.
“A bill that was passed last session that prohibited giving PR bonds for certain violent offenses,” said Zuiker.
Another proposed change would prohibit judges from trying to skirt the law by granting defendants charged with violent crimes, like 43-year-old habitual offender Aubrey Taylor, a one dollar bond.
“I’m going to be using several of the stories,” Kahn said. “I’m going to key in on the one dollar bond guy, and then I’m going to key in on how on Earth can you get a PR bond for possession of a prohibited weapon, a machine gun.”