WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - The founder and students of the college outreach program Café Con Leche are still reeling from the death of their friend and mentor Yajaira Garcia.
After pleading just a month ago for his bond to be raised, Thursday they tearfully sat next to her parents as they listened to the man who is accused of shooting and killing their daughter ask for it to be lowered.
Once inside the courtroom, Joshua Christopher Ray Cook, 19, answered questions from the stand after his court appointed attorney put forth the motion to lower his bond because Cook could not afford to make bail.
Wichita County’s Assistant District Attorney David Fawcett says it is common for a bond reduction hearing to be held the higher the bond is, although there is no guarantee it will get lowered.
However, he said it is not every day that a bond reduction hearing is held after the bond has already been raised.
News Channel 6 reported early last month that Cook was being held in jail on a $100,000 bond. But soon after it was raised to a $750,000 bond for the charge of murder, and a $100,000 bond for the charge of burglary.
The judge says it was changed because prosecutors felt Cook was a flight risk, a danger to the public and believed he may be suicidal.
“It’s not real common for a bond to be set and then raised and then have that hearing,” Fawcett said.
It is especially uncommon when it is this type of case.
Fawcett added, “The atypical part of it is the fact that it's a murder charge that we're dealing with. So, the stakes were a little higher in that case.”
Yajaira’s friends and family are glad there was no change today in the bond for the murder charge, but said the hearing itself was still an ordeal for her family. Which is why her friends said they will continue to show up throughout the entire legal process ahead.
“We were always there for her in everything. No matter – even how she’s gone now – we’re always going to stand by her,” her friend, Mirnae Fraire, said.
The founder of Café Con Leche Gonzalo Robles added, “What we want is for him to get convicted and to be put away. That would be justice for Yajaira. But, even that is not going to bring her back. No amount of money – like her parents have stated – is going to bring her life back.”