Suspects in off-duty deputy's death out on bonds for unrelated murder charges

Friday, September 9, 2022
Suspects in deputy's death out on bonds for unrelated murder charges
13 Investigates dug into the alarmingly low bond amounts given to two men accused of killing an off-duty constable's deputy.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Both suspects arrested in the death of off-duty Harris County Constable Precinct 3 Deputy Omar Ursin were out on bond in connection with other murder charges.

Ahsim Taylor Jr. and Jayland Womack, both 20 years old, were charged on Friday with Ursin's murder.

The 37-year-old deputy was shot and killed in Atascocita while driving home from picking up food for his family.

"When you let somebody out on bond for murder and put an ankle monitor on them, that ankle monitor is not going to stop them from killing someone else," Precinct 3 Constable Sherman Eagleton told ABC13.

SEE MORE: Fallen Harris Co. Precinct 3 deputy's handcuffs used on 1 of 2 men arrested in his murder

13 Investigates found Taylor was charged with capital murder on June 14, 2021, and Womack was charged with murder on Jan. 3, 2021.

SEE ALSO: 2 men charged after 20-year-old was fatally shot during car sale in NE Harris Co., sheriff says

Countywide, defendants were released on bond in 61% of the 589 homicide charges filed last year, according to data from the Harris County Office of Justice and Safety. It's a percentage that's more than doubled since 2018.

Taylor was out on a $75,000 bond set by Harris County Criminal District Court Judge Amy Martin at the time Ursin was killed. He was ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitor.

Womack's bond for the 2021 murder charge was set at $35,000. He violated conditions of that initial bond so it was raised to $75,000, but he bonded out again.

Womack's case is in Harris County Criminal District Court Judge Greg Glass' court.

Our investigation found Judges Martin and Glass both have slightly more defendants out on bond than the county average.

Across Harris County, 62% of defendants with felony cases are out on bond, according to our analysis of Harris County District Courts data for August.

In Martin's court, 66% of the 1,986 defendants with active felony cases are out on bond. The rest are still in jail.

In Glass' court, 63% of the 2,263 defendants with active felony cases are out on bond.

Both Martin and Glass lost their primary elections and will no longer be on the bench in January. Neither responded to a late afternoon request for comment.

"They both need to step down immediately and move on," Doug Griffith, President of the Houston Police Officer's Union, said. "We have to find some way to fix this."

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