Clerical error leads to release of Harris County man charged with 19-year-old's murder

Briana Conner Image
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
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The court clerk handling an accused murderer's documents filled a form out incorrectly allowing him to come up with just $1,500 to bail out instead of $15,000.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man charged with murder was released from the Harris County Jail on just a $15,000 bond after a big mistake.

Darius Sims, 27, is accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Daniel Thompson during a fight at a Whataburger parking lot back in January. A judge set his bond at $150,000, but he got out after putting up only a fraction of that.

The court clerk handling Sims' documents filled a form out incorrectly, according to the 177th District Court. One missing zero allowed him to come up with just $1,500 to bail out instead of $15,000, which is what it was supposed to be.

Disturbing video shows the moments leading up to a man identified as Sims allegedly shooting Thompson several times at the Whataburger near Highway 290 and Hollister.

ORIGINAL STORY: 1 person shot and killed in altercation at Whataburger parking lot in northwest Houston, HPD says

"You just shoot a man to death. That's exactly what he did. You didn't shoot him to hurt him. Your intention was to kill him," Charles Thompson said.

Thompson said the family just celebrated what would've been Daniel's 20th birthday on July 14. About a week later, concerning news came from a sibling.

"She was trying to check to see what was going on with the case, or something, and it came up that he wasn't in the system. She got curious and wanted to find out why he wasn't in the system," Thompson said.

A document obtained by ABC13 shows a clerk in Harris County's 177th District Court entered Sims' bond as $15,000, although the judge set it at $150,000.

SEE ALSO: Whataburger parking lot murder suspect held 5-year-old daughter before shots rang, family says

"How could you make a clerical error on a person that's in for murder? That's hard. I mean, that's hard," Thompson said.

He is still dealing with his youngest son's death on top of the fact that now, his accused killer is no longer behind bars after a big mistake.

"It was like a slap in the face," he said.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office confirmed the U.S. Marshals and the Gulf Coast Violent Offender's Task Force are working to find Sims. The district attorney's office said his bond has now been upgraded to $200,000, which is what they originally asked the judge for.

Sims, whose family told ABC13 he shot Thompson in defense of himself and his young daughter, is due in court Tuesday morning.

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SEE ALSO: 19-year-old Cy-Ridge HS grad died when altercation escalated in NW Houston parking lot, HPD says