Houston, TX – A Texas district court judge released a repeat offender who had held a woman hostage in his car for days on a $1 bail on Friday to make a political point, but he may have jeopardized the safety of the victim to do so.
Prosecutors said the defendant, 43-year-old Aubrey Taylor, had eight previous felony convictions when he took a woman hostage and held her in his car for days, KRIV reported.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office asked the court to hold Taylor without bond, or give him a very high bond, because he was accused of repeatedly beating and choking his victim for days while he held her trapped in his car.
Despite hearing that Taylor had eight prior felony convictions, two of which were robberies, and that he was charged with two serious, violent offenses against the current victim, the judge chose not to follow the prosecutor’s recommendation, KRIV reported.
Instead, 232nd Criminal District Court Judge Josh Hill granted Taylor a $1 bond and the violent offender was freed shortly thereafter.
Court documents showed that Hill’s ridiculous bond order was his way of expressing his feelings on pending Texas Senate Bill 6, KRIV reported.
SB6 would eliminate personal recognizance (PR) bonds for violent offenses.
“I have never seen that before,” criminal defense attorney Emily Detoto told KRIV. “In fact, when you first told me about it, I thought you were joking.”
“It’s like, I wish I could give you a PR bond, I can’t, so I’ll make it a dollar,” Detoto said. “That’s nonsensical to me.”
Andy Kahan, with Crime Stoppers, was just as shocked and outraged, KRIV reported.
“You’ve got eight prior felony convictions, two of them for robbery,” Kahan said. “He’s charged with two serious violent offenses.”
The anti-crime advocate said he was concerned about the safety of Taylor’s victim, KRIV reported.
“If I’m outraged, I can’t imagine what the victim in this case must be going through considering all she did,” Kahan explained.
Detoto agreed that the judge’s showy move had possible endangered the victim, KRIV reported.
“Someone has accused you, you’re in jail, you’re angry, who’s the person you’re thinking about? Who are you fuming over and who’s the first person you want to go be angry with? It’s the person who put you there, right,” she said. “That needs to be rethought.”