Family of McDonald's purse-snatching victim calls out judge who granted suspect bond

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Community members along with advocates from FIEL Houston held a vigil Saturday night in honor of Martha Medina who was reportedly killed by a suspect who was out of jail on bond.

Family, friends and residents of the area gathered at the Guadalupe Plaza, exactly one month after Medina was killed. Medina's daughter Lourdes asked the community to join them in their fight for justice.

"My mom is gone," Lourdes said. "I know nothing's bringing her back, but I'm doing this not just for her memory, but because I'm tired of seeing this across the city."

Medina was killed outside a McDonald's at the 400 block of Uvalde Road in east Harris County on Sept. 23.

SEE ALSO: E. Harris Co. purse-snatching suspect denied bond as court reveals he may have followed victim

The 40-year-old suspect, Andrew Williams, is accused of stealing Medina's purse, hitting her with his car and taking off, according to authorities.

Court records show Williams was out on bond in connection with a previous capital murder charge from 2019, and also out on bond for an aggravated assault that same year.

Williams was charged with capital murder in connection to Medina's death.

Lourdes and her brother, Adrian, believe the judge who let Williams out on bond needs to be held accountable, along with the other Harris County judges who continue to let repeat violent offenders out on bond.

"We're feeling a little sad but also empowered because we want to get a message across the city, not just the city, but to the judges that continue to let these repeat offenders out," Lourdes Medina said. "We want to put Hilary Unger's name out there, first of all, and there's plenty of more judges after her. But, we feel like she has just as much blood in her hands for my mother's death as much as Andrew Williams does."

On Oct. 7, ABC13 reached out to the judge about the case.

In an email, Unger said, "The Canons prohibit me from talking about pending matters. But I would direct your attention to the clerk's file in the matter, specifically the public docket sheets on the District Clerk's website whom all can view. Also, direct your attention to the Court of Criminal Procedure and the Texas Constitution (sections regarding bail) which requires me to set bail."

ABC13 Investigates reached out to sources who say, while it's not an easy process, it is certainly possible for defendants accused of capital murder to be denied bond.

"The family of Marta Medina is devastated by the loss of their loved one at the hands of a person who was out on bond," FIEL Executive Director Cesar Espinosa wrote in a statement. "They are asking for changes to be made to the unfair criminal justice system so that no other families have to go through this. We believe in justice but also believe in fairness for all people involved. We must do better to protect all families here in Houston. We must fight for changes with the hope that no other family has to live this nightmare. We look forward to dialogue but demand immediate change."

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