Attorney files motion to remove local JP who set record-breaking bond

Bell County Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown. (Bell County photo/file)
Bell County Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown. (Bell County photo/file)(KWTX)
Published: Feb. 15, 2017 at 9:37 PM CST
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A local attorney filed a motion Wednesday evening to remove the justice of the peace who set a record-breaking $4 billion dollar bond for a murder suspect.

Bell County Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown set the record-breaking bond for Antonio Willis who was accused of murder.

Brown said she wanted to bring awareness to unreasonably high bonds that are set forcing suspects to remain in jail and not see a fair trial.

The bond was later lowered to $151,000.

According to the petition, Brett H. Pritchard, who owns a law firm in Killeen, said the bond was "unconstitutional" and "brought great embarrassment to residents of Bell County and to the judiciary itself."

"It scares me," Pritchard said.

"I'm worried that she's not able to keep my kids safe and I couldn't stand by any longer. Enough is enough."

In the petition, Pritchard later cited other cases where Brown allegedly set bonds lower than the applicable rate of punishment.

He said the bond for such cases did "nothing to secure the criminal defendant's appearance at trial and does little to keep the victim and society at whole safe."

Pritchard said Brown is "incompetent" to handle the position and "engaged in official misconduct by openly admitting that she knows her decision violate the Constitution."

The motion was filed late Wednesday afternoon in the 169th Judicial District Court.

Judge Gordon Adams will decide whether to hold a hearing to discuss the merits of the case.

The court can suspend the judge pending the hearing.