Appeal from the 178th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 1642706
consists of Justices Zimmerer, Spain, and Hassan
appeals the judgment in the underlying habeas corpus action.
Tex.R.App.P. 33.1. The trial court set bond at $1, 000, 000
after a jury found applicant guilty but was unable to reach
an agreement on punishment. The trial court declared a
mistrial as to the punishment phase of trial. Applicant is
currently incarcerated awaiting the new punishment phase of
trial. On appeal, applicant contends the amount of bond set
by the trial court is excessive.
August 6, 2019, a jury convicted applicant of murdering his
pregnant wife in 1999, a first-degree felony. On August 9,
2019, the jury was unable to reach an agreement on
applicant's punishment during their deliberations after
the punishment phase of trial. Over applicant's
objection, the trial court declared a mistrial as to the
punishment phase only. Applicant was taken into custody.
August 14, 2019, applicant filed an application for writ of
habeas corpus requesting that bond be set in the amount of
$30, 000. On August 30, 2019, the trial court held a hearing
on the habeas corpus request. Before either side presented
evidence, the trial court stated that it believed applicant
was entitled to bond and that it should be set at $1, 000,
000. The defense presented testimony of five witnesses. The
State requested that the court take judicial notice of the
State's evidence presented during the trial and did not
present additional evidence at the hearing. After listening
to testimony and arguments by counsel, the trial court ruled
that bond would be set at $1, 000, 000.
the hearing, applicant presented the testimony of (1) the
bail bondsman who secured applicant's bond pending trial,
(2) applicant's brother, and (3) three of applicant's
Burns, the bail bondsman, testified that applicant's bond
pending trial was $30, 000. Applicant attended all his
pretrial hearings and complied with conditions of his bond.
Burns testified his company was willing to post a
"reasonable bond" for applicant a second time.
brother, Darin Temple, testified that applicant was caring
for their elderly parents while he was out on bond pending
trial. According to Darin, applicant has been a "massive
help" because both of their parents have failing health
requiring substantial care. While out on bail pending trial,
applicant started a non-profit called Freedom Rising. Darin
testified that the maximum he believed his family could raise
for applicant's bond would be enough to secure a $50, 000
bond. According to Darin, applicant has no assets other than
a vehicle, which he estimated to be worth about $12, 000.
Taylor testified that through her prison outreach ministry,
she worked with applicant while he was incarcerated and after
he was released and on bond pending trial. She described
applicant as "a man of integrity." Taylor explained
that applicant drew a small stipend from Freedom Rising. She
estimated the stipend to be between seven hundred and eight
hundred dollars a month.
Tidwell testified that she has been friends with applicant
for twenty years. According to Tidwell, applicant is not a
threat to the community. Tidwell would trust her children and
her life with applicant. Tidwell opined that applicant is not
a flight risk and would abide by any condition of bond
imposed upon him.
State does not argue that the jury's finding of guilt
deprives applicant of his right to bail, thus we do not
address that issue. We will address only whether the trial