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Judge Releases Murder Suspect So He Won’t Catch Coronavirus

HOUSTON—Last August, Christian Tristan, 27, was allegedly shot and killed by David Cruz. A judge released Cruz on a PR bond last week as a “compassionate release.”

Murder Suspect Released by Judge Over Coronavirus Fears

Ruth Tristan, Christian’s mother, is reeling from the news, saying, “I don’t know what to think anymore. This is how I celebrate my son’s birthday, by you releasing him. It’s a slap in the face.” Her son would have turned 28 this week.

Since the judge released Cruz on a PR bond, the criminal doesn’t have to pay a dime for his actions.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez was looking at 200 compassionate releases on Wednesday, most of them being older inmates with non-violent crimes and health issues.

The judge didn’t initially consider Cruz. But Cruz’ attorney asked 180th Criminal District Court Judge DaSean Jones to release him on a PR bond. He cited fears of Cruz catching COVID-19 while behind bars.

The judge granted the request and ordered Cruz to wear an electronic monitoring device. The judge did not respond to calls for comment.

Related: Coronavirus Shutting Down Police Departments to Limit Exposure

Three Inmates in Georgia Test Positive for Coronavirus

In related news, three inmates have tested positive for COVID-19 at Lee State Prison in Leesburg after suffering flu symptoms, according to a statement from the Georgia Department of Corrections. Three other prisoners are currently under observation with similar symptoms.

The statement revealed that the entire inmate population is now under quarantine. They will screen inmates for the virus. No other details were provided. Even the best drug rehab centers are at risk.

With other prisons facing the same possibility, Rev. Jesse Jackson has urged Donald Trump to provide testing for the 2.2 million people currently incarcerated in the United States.

“In prison there are too many people in proximity to each other who do not have the option of social distancing and there are literally millions of persons incarcerated who were arrested, but not convicted, who are languishing there awaiting trial,” he wrote in a letter to the President.

“My concern is specifically with those arrested for nonviolent crimes.”

Jackson is also asking Trump to consider release healthy prisoners who are under pre-trial detention for nonviolent offenses.

“Because ‘social distancing’ is not an option for prisoners, jail could become an incubator and death sentence for those incarcerated,” he wrote.

Related: Mayor Begs Residents to ‘Stop shooting each other’ to Free Up Hospital Beds

Dan Perez

Dan Perez

As a veteran beat reporter, Dan Perez has seen it all. The creativity (and sometimes stupidity) of criminals knows no bounds—and that’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on crime in your hometown.

When not bringing you the latest on crime, Dan is working in the garden or playing with the dogs.

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