In December 2021, 50-year-old Melvin Cross Jr. was charged with felony possession of a weapon and assaulting a family member after court documents showed he “choked his girlfriend and stopped her circulation.”
His long criminal history for assault dates back to 2009. Court records show he was convicted of murder in Dallas County in 2001.
You may be wondering where is he now? He’s not in prison. He’s out on December felony charges on $1 bail each.
The reason he’s getting by on such a low bail is because the state hasn’t charged the case within 90 days, according to the judge’s bail order.
Texas law states that bail for someone charged with a felony must be reduced if prosecutors don’t appear in court within 90 days.
Judge Ana Martinez lowered Cross’s bail. ABC13 went to their court to find out why the bonds were priced at just $1. Martinez had no comment and referred us to the court papers.
So why did it take so long for the grand jury to get the case?
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office did not respond directly, sending the following statement:
“We appreciate the hard work of the grand jury in indicting this defendant as quickly as possible. He is currently charged with two felonies and will appear in court in June. Before his release, he had to be fitted with a GPS monitor that tracks his whereabouts 24 hours a day. If prosecutors learn that he violated any of the several conditions to his release, they will petition the court to have his bail revoked. If he doesn’t show up in court, they’ll ask that his bail be forfeited. The entire criminal justice system continues to be under tremendous strain due to the mounting backlash of the pandemic and before that, Harvey. There are now more pending criminal cases than at any time in our county’s history.”
We have not yet answered how often this occurs with the current case backlog.
As of April, Harris County has more than 47,000 active and pending cases, a number that has doubled in the past two years.
Cross’s trial is scheduled for June.
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https://abc13.com/murder-felony-two-dollar-bond-2/11862929/ The man convicted of murder is out on $2 bail each after the case failed to make it to the grand jury in time