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