Theft, Assault, DWI lead the list, offenses against children follow
By R.S. Gates and
The Legendary Jim Parks
Offenders released on their personal recognizance in McLennan County number 3,136 cases over the past two years, according to a report obtained through a Texas Open Records Act request.
Of these, 765 defendants accused of theft lead the list followed by 240 accused of both misdemeanor and felony DWI, 164 accused of burglary and 162 charged with failure to identify themselves once apprehended.
Assaultive offenses represent a large number, with 378 released on PR bonds, 293 of them accused of family violence and 85 who were charged with assault in general. A total of 39 persons were released on personal recognizance after being charged with violation of a judge's protective order shielding a family member.
Offenses committed against children represent small numbers, but are perhaps the most disturbing. A total of 11 persons were released on PR bond after being charged with felony abandonment or endangerment of a child and an additional 4 for misdemeanor grade charges in the same category. Seven were released on personal recognizance when charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, a form of forcible rape, and 4 for the continuous sexual abuse of a child.
In most cases, bond fees were waived by the judges who made the release. Many releases came after the defendant had been jailed for 90 days or more without a Grand Jury indictment and released on a writ of habeas corpus.