Texas Police Officer Killed By Suspects Who Were Released On Low Bail

AP Photo/Joshua Bessex

When one thinks of the type of woke district attorneys who are endangering the public by allowing violent offenders out on paltry bail amounts after being arrested, the folks who come to mind are typically people like New York City District Attorney Alvin Bragg or Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon. In general, folks tend to think of blue states when discussing the problem of prosecutors applying lenient bail policies designed to keep criminals on the street.

But what if I told you a red state like Texas has this issue as well?

The murder of an off-duty law enforcement officer is yet another situation revealing that these soft-on-crime policies are a scourge even in conservative-leaning states.

On Sunday, August 28, Precinct 3 Deputy Constable Omar Ursin picked up dinner for his family at their favorite restaurant. While driving home to northeast Harris County, he was shot to death in cold blood by two individuals in a dark-colored sedan.

Last Friday, Harris County deputies apprehended Ahsim Taylor Jr., 20, and Jayland Womack, 20.

Both men made their first court appearance on Monday. They are being charged with murder.

As it turns out, both of the suspects were previously charged with separate murders but were out on bail. The Texan reported:

Taylor had previously been arrested and charged with Capital Murder and Tampering with Evidence in the shooting death of Kelvin Shepherd that took place in June of 2021. Although a magistrate originally set his bond at $200,000, Judge Amy Martin of the 263rd District Court ordered Taylor’s bond lowered to $75,000.

Ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device and abide by curfews, Taylor violated his conditions of release repeatedly from December 2021 through January 2022, but the judge declined to revoke bond. Again, in March 2022, Martin reinstated Taylor’s bond conditions rather than ordering him back into custody.

Womack was also facing similar charges, but another judge allowed him to go free on a lesser bond:

According to court records, Womack was charged with murder in January 2021 but released on a $35,000 bond. After violating bond conditions by having contact with another suspect and possessing firearms and marijuana, Womack’s bond was revoked and he was taken into custody, but the 208th District Court under Judge Greg Glass authorized his release on a $75,000 bond.

Womack and Taylor are not the only ones who have benefited from lowered bail amounts. Andy Kahan, with Crime Stoppers of Houston, noted that “there have now been at least 182 people murdered in Harris County allegedly by suspects out on multiple felony bonds over the past few years,” according to the report.

After the men were arrested, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez posted on social media that “violent repeat offenders should not be allowed to walk in and out of jail before their trial, putting the public at risk.”

But Womack and Taylor were not one-offs. Judges Martin and Glass have a history of releasing violent offenders. A local ABC affiliate conducted an investigation that found that both judges have “slightly more defendants out on bond than the county average.”

From the report:

Across Harris County, 62% of defendants with felony cases are out on bond, according to our analysis of Harris County District Courts data for August.

In Martin’s court, 66% of the 1,986 defendants with active felony cases are out on bond. The rest are still in jail.

In Glass’ court, 63% of the 2,263 defendants with active felony cases are out on bond.

Both of these officials were defeated in their primary elections and will step down in January of next year, thank God.

Hopefully, voters in these areas elected people who will not allow violent criminals to continue roaming the streets after being arrested. As with most folks, I’m willing to give some wiggle room when it comes to nonviolent offenders. But those who have a history of violence have no business back on the streets when they become suspects in another violent crime.

If these two men are guilty, the judges placed them in a position in which they could carry out yet another murder. But these types of officials rarely care about the plight of those who become victims of their ill-advised choice. Perhaps voters should start making them care.


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