Capital Suspect Back in Detention After Release – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

A prime murder suspect was arrested again on Thursday, just days after he was released from prison by a Dallas judge.

According to court records, the man cut off the anklet he was supposed to wear and went on the run.

Police leaders and neighbors were angry that he had been released from prison.

A former prosecutor said COVD-19 is partly to blame.

The robbery and murder case started in September 2019 at Café Delicious on Botham Jean Boulevard.

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“You have the community that wants to cooperate in enforcement. Law enforcement officers want to do their job. But the judiciary has to do theirs,” said Todd Atkins, pastor of the nearby Salem Institutional Baptist Church.

James William Moore, 31, was jailed for the 2019 capital murder on a $500,000 bond.

On June 13, 2022, County District Judge Ernest White ordered that Moore be placed under house arrest instead. The following Friday, he was released from prison.

But according to court records, Moore cut off the electronic monitor on Saturday.

“This is for the prosecutor. This falls on the DA. In fact, it depends on that judge,” said Mike Mata, president of the Dallas Police Association. “What more does a violent criminal need to show Dallas County that Dallas County is doing the right thing.”

A document filed in courts on June 8 shows that, prior to the murder trial, Moore had eight criminal cases in Louisiana and nine more in Texas since 2007. There were 37 charges of prison misconduct against Moore during his most recent two years in the Dallas County Jail.

Judge White had access to all that information. But he had also waited more than two years for a trial of the murder charge, along with the defendant.

“Whoever this suspect is is presumed innocent. He still has the presumption of innocence and the judge cannot fault him as he sits here awaiting trial on these charges,” said Heath Harris, a former chief assistant district attorney and currently a criminal defense attorney.

Furthermore, Harris said the COVID-19 pandemic still plays a role in delaying trials. He said prosecutors and courts are clearing the backlog of cases in an effort to catch up on evidence, witnesses and trial preparations.

In this case, court records show that no DNA test results have been received and that the chief detective is on leave and unavailable to testify.

“If the state isn’t ready, the court is usually going to lower that bond,” Harris said.

Mata said the detective was available and ready for trial last year. He said the police were responsible for recapturing Moore.

“We have the best fugitive unit in the country, I believe,” Mata said. “That’s a message to all those criminals out there. If you’re a violent criminal in the state of Texas and you commit a crime in Dallas County, we’ll come get you.”

That’s exactly what happened on Thursday. A tweet from the Dallas Police Department said Moore was arrested by the U.S. Marshals’ fugitive unit in northeast Dallas, near Walnut Street and Audelia Road.

Atkins said churches are working to rehabilitate individuals who are willing to accept help, but this defendant’s file indicates he has repeatedly chosen a different path.

Atkins said the practice of releasing defendants due to trial delays is not appropriate in all cases.

“Cut off monitors? That is common practice. Do you expect them to come home and just wait for the trial? It almost seems like a comedy of errors,” Atkins said.

A spokesman said the Dallas County District Attorney’s office will not comment on pending cases.

A message to Judge White was not returned on Thursday.

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