Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'Misdemeanor' murderer released on $100K PR bond

Jail magistrate requesting back pay since 2007

BULLETIN: The McLennan County Commissioners' Court deferred payin Judge Raymond Britton back pay for sick leave, holiday and vacation since his appointment as Jail Magistrate in Nov. 2007. County Judge Jim Lewis said the Court needs more documentation before making such a decision. County Auditor Stan Chambers told the Court that the request is in line with personnel policy and procedures. Judge Britton's last day on the job will come on New Year's Eve, 2011.
(see story below)

Six Shooter Junction - Criminal defense attorney Alan Bennett explained to news outlets Monday afternoon that his client got the deal of a lifetime when a McLennan County Grand Jury failed to indict him for murder and aggravated robbery within the 90 days required by law.

Steven Jay Peace, Jr., 20, walked out of the county lockup on personal recognizance bonds totalling $100,000 after being jailed since August 25 on a murder charge stemming from the alleged aggravated robbery of Emuel Bowers, III.

Personal recognizance bonds require no placement of a cash bond fee. He will be required to remain under house arrest and will be monitored electronically while he awaits trial.

Aggravated robbery is a first degree felony when an offender commits a theft from a person who is in fear of their life, 65 years of age or older, or disabled and unable to defend themselves, according to the Texas Penal Code.

When a person dies during such an attack, a Grand Jury may opt to indict the alleged offender for the charge of capital murder, which carries a potential death penalty or a possiblity of imprisonment with no possiblity of parole.

Convicted murderers may become eligible for parole.

Jail magistrate requesting back pay since 2007

In other criminal justice news, Jail Magistrate Raymond Britton is requesting that the McLennan County Commissioners' Court pay him his accumulated vacation, holiday and sick leave retroactive to his appointment to the position on Nov. 6, 2007.

“I request that I be compensated for my unused vacation, holidays worked and unused sick leave, since my term of Jail Magistrate began,” Judge Britton wrote in a memo to County Judge Jim Lewis.

In the interim, the judge has served the municipal courts of Riesel, Moody and Bruceville-Eddy.

According to an opinion by District Attorney Abel Reyna, Judge Britton resigned from those judgeships effective the date he assumed the appointment as Jail Magistrate.

The judge resigned effective January 1 after the Texas Legislature imposed the requirement that a magistrate must have a law degree and be admitted to the State Bar. His appointment could have been grandfathered under the new legal requirement had he not chosen to do so.

A $24,000 a year job, the position was originally intended to involve office hours of a half-hour each morning five days a week between 7 and 7:30 a.m. to consider setting bail on those accused offenders “held over” from the day before after Justices of the Peace had gone home for the day, according to the Court's minutes.

To serve in more than one such position of emolument – whether one accepts the pay or not – is a violation of the Texas Constitution, according to Mr. Reyna's holding.

The matter is on the agenda of the Commissioners' Court this morning under the “consent agenda,” which gangs up many items for their consideration and requires only one vote to approve all, or only those not deferred for further study.


  1. He's an asshole. Can't wait to put a couple zero's on him the next time we meet. His record will soon be brought to light in his handling of his bond setting ruthless ways . Special Hell for people like him.

  2. Don't give him a penny in backpay. He sets bail high and the Bondsmen pay him money on the side. He needs to spend a couple nights in the Mclennan jail and see how he likes the treatment. When the truth comes out he mat just get the oppurnity. No law degree what were the officials in the county thinking. No wonder Waco has a bad law enforcement reputation.