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Texas Governor Pushes ‘No Bail For Cop Killers’ Law

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promised to propose legislation that would deny bail to suspects accused of killing an officer.

By Sandy Malone and Holly Matkin

Austin, TX – Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he will propose a law where there is “no bail for cop killers.”

The governor’s assertion followed what occurred over the bail for the suspect who ran down Nassau Bay Police Sergeant Kaila Sullivan on Dec. 10, KXAN reported.

Sgt. Sullivan was killed as she and another officer tried to take 21-year-old Tavores Henderson into custody on a domestic violence warrant during a traffic stop.

Henderson fled the scene and hid nearby for two days before he was captured by police and arrested.

He subsequently confessed to having killed Sgt. Sullivan, according to police.

Henderson said he knew that the sergeant was still partially inside his jeep when he hit the accelerator and ran her over, KHOU reported.

A magistrate initially set bond for Henderson at $150,000 for the murder of Sgt. Sullivan despite the fact that the suspect was also facing multiple charges in other jurisdictions from preexisting cases.

“Mr. Henderson, in the murder case I’m setting your bond at $150,000,” the magistrate said, according to KHOU. “That’s taking into account that you have a felony bond pending that you forfeited which means you didn’t show up for court, which is now set at zero. And you have a new misdemeanor charge for assaulting a family member…[and] out of Galveston County for attempted theft where the judge has set that bond at $20,000.”

The fact that the murder suspect was afforded such a low bond on a murder charge outraged many law enforcement officials and the Texas governor.

“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 & keep dangerous killers off the street. #BackTheBlue” 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, my team and our law enforcement partners do a phenomenal job locating & taking him into custody without incident- I simply do not understand his initial bond set at $150,000.”

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo called the low bond “outrageous.”

“This coward who took the life of a hero & poses a clear & present danger to community & the people we serve,” Chief Acevedo tweeted. “Bail decisions need to be made on the basis of risk to [public] safety & of flight.”

But then on Friday, a Harris County judge ordered no bond for the capital murder charges against Henderson, the [Houston Chronicle](https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/outrage-nassau-bay-cop-killer-bond-HPD-14904021.php?utm_campaign=CMS%20Sharing%20Tools%20(Desktop%29&utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=referral) reported.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office defended the lower bond that was initially set by claiming there was never a concern that Henderson would be released because he was being held without bond on other prior charges, KHOU reported.

Abbott tweeted his happiness about the change in bond status and promised to bring back his bail reform legislation.

“This is an excellent course correction. There should be no bail for Cop killers. Period. I’ll propose this law next session. #BackTheBlue #txlege,” the governor tweeted.

House Bill 2020 never got out of the Texas State Senate but Abbott has pledged to work with legislators before the next session to draft new legislation, KXAN reported.

Sandy Malone - December Tue, 2019


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