Aggravated robbery defendant violates bond conditions more than 1,000 times, gets rewarded by two judges
HOUSTON - According to court documents, Edwin Maldonado spent many months thumbing his nose at what he was ordered by the court to do.
His punishment for that is more like a prize.
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"You've got someone who was rewarded for being a failure, and this guy was a failure over 1,000 and some odd times," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers.
First, Maldonado gets a felony charge for drug possession. A few weeks later, he's charged with aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. He makes his $30,000 bond and walks out of jail.
"I've certainly had clients hauled back into court on violations, maybe two or three times that have been alleged," said criminal defense attorney Emily Detoto.
Associate Judge Tiffany Hill presided over a bond revocation hearing for Maldonado.
"For obvious reasons, you are not abiding by your rules and conditions period, and God knows what he was doing when he wasn't where he was supposed to be," Kahan said.
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According to court documents, Maldonado failed to comply with any of his bond conditions for eight months.
According to his GPS monitor, he left his curfew zone 847 times, was called 453 times about his whereabouts, and had more than 1,000 GPS monitor violations.
"Over 1,000 times, 1,043 to be exact," said Kahan. "I've never seen that in my life."
"In my 27 years, I've never seen anything like that," Detoto said. "I had never heard of it until you brought it up today."
Court documents state Judge Hill found the state proved by a preponderance of the evidence the defendant violated his bond conditions.
"The judge then actually lowered the original bond from $30,000 thousand to $5,000," Kahan said.
"I can tell you that is a very rare decision for any judge to make, having found that someone was in violation of their bond, but them leaving them out on bond," Detoto said. "Normally, a judge would find that they're in violation, and either raise it, double it, or revoke it."
The DA's office asked 230th Criminal District Court Judge Chris Morton to reconsider or modify the associate Judge's ruling and revoke or raise Maldonado's bond.
Morton agreed with Hill that his bond should be lowered to $5,000.
"I don't know what kind of message that you're sending, but I don't think this is in the best interest of public safety," said Kahan.