Takeoff's alleged killer's bond reduced after Wednesday hearing, and it's expected to go down again

Thursday, December 15, 2022
Bond lowered to $1M for man accused in rapper Takeoff's murder
The man accused of Takeoff's murder may now have a chance of getting out of jail after a judge cut his bond in half.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The man accused of killing Grammy-nominated rapper Takeoff went before a judge Wednesday asking for his $2 million bond to be reduced to $100,000. While he didn't get it lowered to $100,000, his bond did get lowered.

The 33-year-old is charged with murder for the shooting death of Kirsnick Khari Ball, known professionally as Takeoff, a member of the hip-hop trio, Migos.

Clark's bond was lowered to $1 million and could be reduced again, but the judge on this case, Judge Josh Hill, said he needs answers to some questions.

Hill said he believes Clark may be a flight risk and requested a deep dive into the suspect's personal finances. He wants to understand why Clark cannot post bond, yet was recorded on a jail phone call saying the $2 million was doable.

The judge is also requiring that Clark wear a GPS monitor that would immediately alert the court if bond conditions are violated.

ABC13 was there listening to witnesses take the stand, trying to paint a picture of Clark that shows he comes from a loving and law-abiding family. It appeared his entire family was in court on Wednesday.

We learned that Clark's father is some sort of software engineer at Johnson Space Center, and his mother is a retired HISD employee. The defense claimed Clark still lives at his parent's home in Channelview and is taking one class at Houston Community College.

Clark is the second of three siblings.

Joseph Clark, the suspect's father, said he is willing to put the family's home up as collateral if his son's bond is lowered. In addition, the whole family will co-sign a bond issued from a bondsman if lowered, which Mark Metze, a bail bondsman, said the family has already taken care of.

Takeoff was shot to death in the early morning hours of Nov. 1 outside a bowling alley in downtown Houston. Police said he was in a crowd of people and an innocent bystander near an argument over a dice game.

Detectives on the case allege Clark had a gun in one hand and a wine bottle in another when he was caught on camera firing his weapon. Those bullets allegedly struck Takeoff.

Fingerprints on that wine bottle are what detectives say helped identified Clark to authorities.

They went on to say that Clark searched for information about the case online and also searched his name and age in relation to the case. His attorney claims he did not know he was the prime suspect in the rapper's death.

"It is extremely excessive. We did some research and what we determined was the average median income for a citizen in Harris County is around $60,000-$65,000," Letitia Quinones, Clark's attorney, told ABC13 Monday night. "Additionally, defendants similarly situated as Mr. Clark do not have $2 million."

Quinones surrendered Clark's passport on Wednesday, and his father said he would ensure he appears in court.

The state asked for a high bond, saying Clark was a flight risk who planned to flee to Mexico after obtaining an expedited passport. Prosecutors believe he is also a danger to the community.

Jim Willis, a private investigator who was hired on Clark's team, was also in court on Wednesday.

He said the ticket to Mexico was canceled a few days before Clark was arrested. The suspect was allegedly taking that trip with his sister and her friends.

During the bond reduction hearing, a timeline was laid out detailing Clark's efforts to obtain the expedited passport. His father testified that this past summer, the family discussed taking a trip together, but he became ill, so they did not go.

A receipt entered into evidence dated Sept. 6 showed that Clark's father paid to obtain a copy of his and his son's birth certificates. A birth certificate is required to obtain a passport. In the early morning hours of Nov. 1, Takeoff was shot and killed.

On Nov. 21, Clark purchased a Southwest flight to Cancun, according to Willis. A flight itinerary is required to obtain an expedited passport. Detectives on the case claim he searched online for fake plane tickets prior to purchasing a real one, which they flagged as a cause for concern.

After requesting the expedited passport, authorities testified that on Nov. 29, Clark canceled his flight.

On Dec.1, after learning he had picked up the passport, authorities arrested Clark.

Clark's defense team claimed he was trying to lease an apartment in the days prior to his arrest, raising the question of whether this was an act someone who is trying to flee the country would do.

"No matter how you look at it, this is a tragedy," Quinones said.

In a search warrant released last week, police cited video and forensic evidence that led to the murder charge against Clark.

Read the full warrant below: