New plan could speed up bond reduction process for bikers - KXXV Central Texas News Now

WACO

New plan could speed up bond reduction process for bikers

Weathers Bond Reduction Hearing Weathers Bond Reduction Hearing
WACO, TX (KXXV) - Bikers who are currently at the McLennan County Jail on a $1 million bond could have their bonds reduced without a hearing with a new plan approved.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors will have the option to submit written arguments to the court about the bond amount they believe is appropriate for each individual case.

Each side would have the opportunity to submit material it would be appropriate for bond reduction, including the individual's ties to the community and employment.

They would have to sign a form first agreeing to submit the written arguments to the court concerning appropriate amount of bail and possible terms and conditions of the bail.

If both parties agree with the judge's decision, a hearing will not be necessary.

Third Administrative Judicial Region Presiding Judge Bill Stubblefield, who proposed the idea, said he hopes this cuts down on the number of bond reductions that will be heard in court.

When both parties submit written arguments for a judge to consider, this does not mean they're waiving their right to a hearing, according to Stubblefield.

Once the court makes findings based on the written materials submitted, either side can disagree with the judge's decision regarding the bond amount and request a hearing.

Stubblefield said with nearly 180 cases and only two courts handling bond hearings, the delay is more than normal.

"If that due process takes an enormous amount of time, it really degrades the entire process. We want to act as efficiently and rapidly as we possibly can,” said Stubblefield, “Due process is the reason to do this. Due process delay is due process denied."

Stubblefield said he is pleased how quickly judges have handled the hearings. Both judges, Ralph Strother and Matt Johnson, agreed that implementing this new process was appropriate.

This new process, which is optional, will be implemented once it has been explained to all parties and they have signed off on the process.

Strother and Johnson have bond reduction hearings scheduled on Friday.

Congressman Bill Flores' office confirmed to News Channel 25 it is looking into getting federal financial assistance to help McLennan County to pay for jail costs and legal expenses in the Twin Peaks cases.
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