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Judge Anyiam Raises Bail for Re-Arrested Suspect after Criticism

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Formal cover photo for Judge Chika Anyiam. | Image from Judge Anyiam Facebook

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Dallas Judge Chika Anyiam re-raised the bonds for 29-year-old Julio Guerrero on March 21, after lowering it twice. 

The man was previously in jail last June, following an incident on June 2 with Dallas Police officers as they attempted to execute a warrant for the suspect. Guerrero eventually surrendered to police after reportedly firing at police officers and engaging them in an 8-hour standoff.

Guerrero’s warrant and arrest were the result of his alleged involvement in two May 2021 shooting incidents: the murder of 35-year-old Francisco Villanueva Rodriguez in Far East Dallas and the wounding of a 3-year-old girl at an east Oakcliff gas station as he and the victim’s father exchanged gunfire.

Additionally, he is now facing three charges of aggravated assault against Dallas police in connection to the standoff. 

Guerrero was originally held on more than $6 million in bonds for murder and aggravated assaults. However, Judge Anyiam later lowered them to approximately $2 million, and once more, most recently, to about $500,000.

The suspect posted bail last week after Judge Anyiam lowered the bond the second time.

However, following criticism and widespread outrage from family members of the victims, law enforcement, and prosecutors, the judge raised Guerrero’s bond on Monday for his murder charge, making the total bond $1.96 million, close to the same amount set after Judge Anyiam lowered it initially.

Some of the backlash the judge received for lowering Guerro’s bond in early March came from state and local officials.

Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia declared, “It was reckless. It was irresponsible, not appropriate.”

Governor Greg Abbott said on Twitter, “This is outrageous and must be stopped. Democrats voted against a constitutional amendment that would keep dangerous criminals like this behind bars. We are working on another law next session to keep communities safe from these criminals.”

The bond reconsideration hearing was called after the district attorney’s office requested the judge reassess Guerrero’s release, claiming he posed harm to society and was a flight risk.

On Monday morning, prosecutors presented fresh evidence in court. A Dallas narcotics investigator testified that Guerrero had suspected ties to Mexican drug cartels. The prosecutors asked Judge Anyiam to reconsider raising the bonds in light of the new allegations.

Tom Cox, the defendant’s lawyer, told the judge that his client was innocent until proven guilty and that he was entitled to a reduced bond.

Cox also asked Judge Anyiam not to allow media pressure to influence her decision. He claimed that raising the bond could “set a dangerous precedent for the state and media to place pressure on court.”

After hearing the new testimony and further allegations against Guerrero in detail, Judge Anyiam decided to raise his bond back to nearly $2 million.

The families of Guerrero’s alleged victims, Villanueva and the 3-year-old, supported the judge’s decision. The child’s mother told WFAA that seeing Guerrero for the first time in court was emotional.

Guerrero’s family members were also present in the courtroom. They told WFAA that he has no ties to Mexico and that the claims against him are merely accusations, maintaining that he should be allowed to return home while awaiting trial.

“We felt the bonds should have remained at the lower amounts, [but] we certainly understand if the court disagreed,” Cox told The Dallas Morning News. “We will now turn our attention to fighting the cases at trial.”

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