Sheriff's Office: Court Ordered Murder Suspect Released
Jul 20, 2012 at 4:33 PM CST
Jul 20, 2012
An accused murderer is now out of jail except he didn't post bail and his case was not dismissed. Sheriff's office officials say they did nothing wrong and the court isn't saying much about the order it gave to authorities to release the suspect. Our Annette Garcia has been looking into the story and has the details. Accused murderer Mario Alberto Garza is now back on the streets, released from jail earlier this week. “He was an individual that was charged with a homicide.” Garza was arrested last year in connection with the august 2011 murder of 52-year-old Agustin Tamayo. Tamayo was shot dead at a house in the 3000 block of Elm. Both Garza and one other man would later be arrested for the crime. But now Garza has been freed, perhaps by a misinterpretation of court documents. Sheriff's officials received a court order on Monday, showing a motion to dismiss Garza’s case. And that's where the confusion in this story begins. Sheriff's officials would not go on camera but did sit down to explain the document. They say it clearly shows the case had been re-filed on July 10th. But the judge signed the motion to dismiss on July 12th allowing Garza out of jail. A clerk at the courts however explained it differently. She told us the case was dismissed because a new one was filed on July 10th with the same charges just a different bond. The judge's signature only shows the first lesser bond case was cleared. But the 111th district court told us Judge Monica Notzon cannot comment on specific cases. They also said the judge signs documents brought to them by the district attorney's office and pointed out that she signed a "motion to dismiss" and not an "order to release". Now police say they'll be ready to catch him again. “If there is an inadvertent release, we will be pursuing and try to serve that warrant if it does become activated.” Officials tell us an emergency hearing for a warrant was held the same day Garza was released. “An arrest warrant was immediately filed the very next day. Authorities hope to put Garza back in jail.” Garza, who is said to be a Mexican Mafia gang member, is facing one count of murder.