DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas capital murder suspect is free on Wednesday after being released from jail and shutting off his electronic leg monitor within hours.
It has led to an urgent search for fugitives and raises more questions about the state of our criminal justice system that some people say is too soft on violent offenders.
A man suspected of being involved in the murder of a Dallas restaurant owner has been awaiting trial for nearly three years.
Last week he was released from jail after having his bond lowered to just $1,000 and fitted with an ankle monitor.
Within hours, he’s taken it off and remains on the run.
Court documents obtained by CBS 11 News reveal James William Moore is accused of “…acting like a ‘good eye’ and then becoming the getaway driver…” in the September 2019 robbery at Cafe Delicious the South Lamar in Dallas.
Restaurant owner Brian Harp Sr. was shot and killed while protecting one of his employees after a group of four men with a gun entered and opened fire.
“I feel really bad because he was a friend of mine,” said Glen Larremore, a friend of the victim. “I consider him a friend. If I felt like he deserved better than that.”
Larremore knew the victim and was relieved to see the arrests made.
But now Moore, one of the defendants awaiting trial, has escaped after having his bond lowered last week from $500,000 to just $1,000.
He was released June 17 from the Dallas County Jail.
The documents state “on 6/18/2022 at 1:21 a.m. a ‘Tamper’ alert recorded from the defendant’s GPS tracking device indicating that the monitor may have been removed from his leg without authorization. All Attempts to contact the accused have been unsuccessful. At the time of this writing, the whereabouts of the accused are unknown.”
The Dallas Police Association says this is another example of a disturbing pattern in the justice system.
“They know full well they’re going to do this thousand dollar bond, they know full well they’re going to go home and do it again, but they don’t care about the families that are being destroyed, they don’t care about the victims. said Sgt. Michael Mata of the Dallas Police Association.
Records also show that Moore wasn’t even at his assigned residence when he removed the monitor.
A motion has been filed to revoke his bond calling Moore
“…a threat to the peace and security of the community.”
We tried to get answers about why a man charged with the most serious violent crime would have his bail so drastically reduced and be placed under house arrest.
Bail was lowered to $1,000 in court by 194th District Judge Ernest White, whose office did not respond to our messages.
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office declined to answer our questions saying “…we have no comment as this is an ongoing matter.”
“I just hope they put them back in custody,” Larremore said. “I don’t feel like he needs to be here. I don’t feel like you should be out without a monitor.”
A law enforcement officer who spoke with CBS 11 describes Moore as “dangerous as hell.”