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Ex parte Castillo-Lorente

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District

January 23, 2014

EX PARTE ALFREDO CASTILLO-LORENTE, Appellant

On Appeal from the 400th District Court Fort Bend County, Texas Trial Court Cause Nos. 13-DCR-063078 & 13-DCR-063079

Panel consists of Chief Justice Frost and Justices Jamison and Wise.

OPINION

Kem Thompson Frost Chief Justice

In this appeal of the denial of an application for writ of habeas corpus, we consider whether the trial court abused its discretion in setting appellant's pretrial bail. We affirm the trial court's order.

Factual and Procedural Background

Appellant is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and money laundering in an amount greater than $200, 000. Both charges arise out of alleged fraudulent use of identifying information. The trial court originally set bail at $400, 000 for the charge of engaging in organized criminal activity and $250, 000 for the money laundering charge. Appellant filed an application for writ of habeas corpus requesting the trial court to reduce his bail to a reasonable amount; appellant contended at the hearing that a reasonable amount would be $40, 000 on each count. After conducting a hearing, the trial court reduced appellant's bail to $225, 000 on each count. Appellant filed this appeal.[1]

Appellant did not testify at the hearing. Gladys Lorente, appellant's cousin, testified as follows:

• Appellant's family and friends have spoken with a bail bondsman and learned they can afford to post a $40, 000 bond on each count.
• For approximately two years, appellant was employed making deliveries for a company called Hoyo de Cuba.
• Appellant has been married for more than fourteen years and has no children.
• Appellant has lived in the Houston area for six years; he has maintained employment during those six years, primarily doing odd jobs such as "handyman" or landscaping work.
• Appellant and his wife each own a vehicle.
• Appellant has family members still living in Cuba and recently visited them.
• Appellant has no prior criminal history and is willing to relinquish his passport if ...

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