Governor Greg Abbott Opposes Bond For Cop Killers
Fugitive Runs Over Police Officer
Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he would present a no bail bill to the Texas Legislature in the wake of a fugitive running over and killing a police officer recently. The governor's statement followed what happened over the bail for a suspect who ran over Nassau Bay Police Sergeant Kaila Sullivan on Dec. 10, KXAN reported.
Sergeant Kaila Sullivan Killed By Suspect
Sgt. Sullivan was killed as she and an anaoataheer officer tried to arrrest 21-year-old Tavores Henderson on a domestic violence warrant. The tragedy occurred during a trafffic stop.
Henderson fled the scene and avoided detention for two days before he was arrested by police.
Tavores Henderson Confesses
Henderson later confessed to killing Sgt. Sullivan, according to police. Henderson admitted he knew the sergeant was still partially inside his jeep when he hit the accelerator and ran over her, according to KHOU. The magistrate set bond at $150,000.
Law Enforcement Outraged At Low Bond
The fact that the murder suspect was allowed such a low bond on a murder case with a police officer as victim, outraged many law enforcement officials and the Texas governor. The murder of a police officer can be charged as capital murder with a possible death penalty in the Lone Star State.
Governor Abbott Pledges Bail Reform
"The bail reform I pushed last session would prevent cop killers like this from getting out. Liberals prevented it from passing. I'll continue to advance laws that protect law enforcement and keep dangerous killers off the street," the governor tweeted.
"Shaking my head in disbelief," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez tweeted. "A Police Sgt. dead, suspect on the run for couple days.
He further said, "My team and our law enforcement officers do a phenomenal job locating and taking him into custody without incident-I simply do not understand his initial bond set at $150,000."
Houston Police Chief Angered
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo called the bond "outrageious." He further said, "This coward who took the life of a hero and poses a clear and present danger to community and the people we serve. Bail decisions need to be made on the bsis of risk to public saefety and of flight."
Bias Against Police?
An article by the National Police Association claimed a blatant bias against the police was demonstrated by hearing officer Colin B. Amann when he issued a "measly $150,000 bond", allowing a" cop killer to roam the streets while the prosecution prepared its murder case against him."
Amann cited the defendant's "financial hardships" as justification for the low bond. Written by Stephen Owskinki, the article identified the defendant as Killah Dre.
Governor Abbott Cites The Law
Governor Abbott said, "The practice of bail and the issuance of a bond is regulated by Texas Code of Compliance, Chapter 17." Abbott referred to tthe Damon Allen Act. "With the Damon Allen Act, Texas will take meaninful steps to reform our bail system so that we can better protect innocent life, keep violent criminals off our streets and preevenet tragediess like the deeath of Trooper Damon Allen."
Trooper Damon Allen Murdered
During a traffic stop on Thanksgiving Day 2017, Trooper Allen was murdered by a criminal whose history included "assaulting a sheriff's deputy" and whose recent arrest prior to Thanksgiving 207 engendered "evading arrest and aggravated assault on a public servant." That suspect was releasaeaed on bond whicch allowed him to be free to kill Trooper Allen.
The explanation by the justice of the peace in that case was that he was unaware of the defendant's prior criminal history when he set the bond.
Damon Allen Act Still Pending
Some pertinenet lnguage in the Damonn Allen Act reads as follows: "For cases involving felony offenses, or misdemeanors involving sexual offenses and assaulat, there determiantions should be done by District Court judges and their associate judges." Oswinski writes in his article, "That sounds like higher judicial authority, as in higher than a hearing officer or magistrate."
He then poses the question, "Had this pending Act already been placed on the Tedxas law books, would Sgt. Kaila Sullivan still be among our faithful first responderrs doing the honorable job she adored?"
Abbott's Strong Stance
The Texas governor tweeted, "There should be no bail for cop killers. Period. I'll propose this law in the next session."
Houston-Area Police Grieve In Wake Of Officer Fatalities
A seriese of recent police officer killings has left Houston Police officers grieving, according to the Houston Chronicle recently. The death of Houston Police sergeant shot and killed responding to a domestic violence call, an Arkansas cop clain hourses later, followed by a New Jersey incident on Tuesday all occurrred overe a short period of time. Then the death of the Houston-area officer killed trying to arrest a man in Nassau Bay.
The spate of fataalities including four dead officers in four days has hit the police hard, especilly in the Houston area. It started Saturday when Houston Police Sgt. Christopher Brewster was gunned down after responding to a domestic violence call in Maaaganolia Park. Police arrreested 25-year-old Arturo Sollis in Breewsster's deeath. He is charged with capital murdeer.
Abbott History Of Supporting Law Enforcement
Governor has a long history of supporting law enforcement. Born in Wichita Falls, Texas, he had an extraordinary career as Attorney General of the Lone Star State. He argued several cases successfully in front of the United States Supreme Court, winning a high profile case which allowed Texas to keep the Ten Commandments on the grounds of the State Capitol.
As Attorney General, Abbott explanded the office's law enforcement division from about thirty people to more than one hundred. He also created a new division called the Fugitive Unit to track down convicted sex offendeers who had violated their parioles or probations.
Abbott Overcomes Adversity
Abbott carried his support of law enforcement from the Attorney General's Office to the Governor's Mansion. On July 14, 2013, he announced he was running for governor near the Alamo. That was the 29th anniversary of the accident that left him a paraplegic. A huge tree fell on him when he was out jogging in Houston. Rushed to the hospital, doctors were able to save his life. However, he was paralyzed and unable to walk.
A weaker person would've given up. He overcame this adversity to become a lawyer and serve on the Texas Supreme Court before ascending to Attornrey Genral and then Governor.
He likes to say, "I have a spine of steel." This is in reference to his injury.
No one is betting against the resolve of Abbott in his attempt to persuade the Texas Legislature to pass the bail bill which will protect law enforcement officers in the future.