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Suspect indicted for teen's 2019 murder bonds out of jail

Daezion Watkins
Aqurius McPhaul
Posted at 9:54 AM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 19:26:51-04

WACO, Tx — UPDATE:

The McLennan County Jail confirmed to 25 News that Daezion Watkins bonded out on March 29th.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Indicted for capital murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Aquarius Mcphaul, one of the two men accused of Mcphauls death was granted a significant reduction to his bond in a hearing last week.

"It just feels like the insult has been added to the injury," says Sherman Mcphaul, father of the late teen. In September 2019, Mcphaul was found shot and dumped in the middle of the street on the 2900 block of South 4th Street next to the Oakwood Cemetery, near Baylor's campus.

Shot numerous times, police explained the shooting as gang-related.

Mcphaul was laid to rest in the fall of 2019.

Just under two months later, then 18-year-old Daezion Watkins and 17-year-old Elijah Craven, who attended the same high school as Mcphaul, were indicted for his murder.

The victim's family tells 25 News they feel this bond reduction is not only an injustice to their son but a danger to our community.

"My son was murdered right here where we stand like nothing and now, you're going to let the accused walk free?" asked Mcphaul puzzled.

Watkins in court last week received a massive reduction to his bond. Newly appointed Judge Susan Kelly of the 54th Judicial District Court reduced Watkins’ bond from $750,000.00 to a mere $100,000.00.

The District Attorney’s Office told 25 News they’re “disappointed by the Court’s action, and believes this significant reduction of the bond to be against the best interest and safety of the citizens of McLennan County."

Executive ADA Tom Needham, with the District Attorney's office, told 25 News the bond reduction was over strenuous objection from their office.

Judge Susan Kelly’s office has yet to respond to our request for comment.