Dallas police added a charge to a pending case against an alleged violent criminal shortly before the suspect was to be released on bond. After news broke that suspect Julio Guerrero had posted bail, Dallas police added the additional charge of tampering with evidence, which effectively postponed his release from prison.
Guerrero was arrested in June 2021 for the murder of Francisco Villanueva but was also charged with shooting a 3-year-old girl in the head during a traffic altercation and several other crimes.
Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia expressed frustration that judges would allow somebody such as Guerrero to be released from prison.
“We talk about being serious about gun crime, and I scoff when we see that in situations like this, we have individuals who we know are about to be released,” he said.
Had the suspect been released on bond, he would have been confined to constant house arrest and forced to wear an ankle monitor.
However, Dallas County Commissioner J. J. Koch has revealed that only 11 employees in the county are available to watch over 800 people required to wear an ankle monitor.
“Right now, the program’s overwhelmed,” Koch explained. “There are entirely too many folks who need to be supervised on the program.” Unfortunately, he said, “it has led to a number of pretty terrible consequences.”
Further complicating the matter, no judge is currently working on the case as the two judges previously assigned both recused themselves.
The original judge, Chika Anyiam, stepped down after receiving state-wide condemnation for lowering Guerrero’s bail price by nearly 75%. Furthermore, defense attorney Tom Cox had donated $5,000 to the judge’s election campaigns since 2015, raising concerns over a conflict of interest.
The case was then assigned to Judge Amber Givens, who recused herself without giving a reason. This was in addition to around 100 cases she had already stepped away from, with many attorneys seeking to recuse her from cases for alleged bias.