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Ex parte Estrada – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Ex parte Estrada, Nos. 04-08-00596-CR, 04-08-00597-CR, & 04-08-00598-CR, 2008 WL 4958370 (Tex. App.--San Antonio Nov. 19, 2008, no pet.), the defendant, a young man with a troubled past, broke into the home of a long-time neighbor to commit burglary.

The neighbor awoke during the burglary and Estrada shot her in the head with a bow and arrow he brought with him. Id.

He then left the home, taking the victim's vehicle and credit cards. Id.

Estrada drove to a gas station, filled a container with gasoline, returned to the victim's home, and set fire to the victim and her home. Id. He later used the victim's credit cards to purchase hair gel, clothing, and computer equipment. Id.

At the bond hearing, Estrada's father testified, noting his son's age and the fact that he lived with his parents before the murder. Id.

The father testified that if Estrada was released on bond, he would live with his parents in the family home. Id.

The father swore to the trial court that "he would do everything in his power to ensure Estrada appeared in court and meet any conditions of the bond." Id. He went so far as to say that Estrada's mother would stop working to be at home during the day with Estrada. Id.

The father noted the family had no ties to Mexico and had only left the state of Texas one time on a family vacation to Arizona and Nevada.

As to finances, the father testified his son is financially dependent on them and "could not post a bond in any amount," owns no property, and has no assets. The father specifically stated he had contacted at least five bail bond companies and could not meet the financial conditions imposed by any of them.

Thus, in Estrada, with regard to the nature of the offense, the defendant broke into the home of someone he knew for a defined purpose, burglary.

Only when the victim awoke, interrupting the burglary, did the defendant become violent. His actions after that point, while egregious, were to cover up the offense. Thus, while the nature of the offense was egregious, there was at least some explanation for the defendant's violent acts.

As to appearing if bond were reduced, the father provided in-depth testimony that he would assure Estrada's appearance and how it would be done, and noted his son's lack of contacts with Mexico or any other jurisdiction.

The father also affirmatively stated the attempts made by the family to secure bond and definitively stated the family's inability to post the bond as set.