Muehlberger on GPS Tracking Device but Not Monitored - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Muehlberger on GPS Tracking Device but Not Monitored

Newschannel 6 wanted to know who was in charge of monitoring the GPS ankle monitor Ross Muehlberger was wearing the day he opened fire at Hastings and Toby's.  

After talking to or leaving messages with the Wichita Falls Police Department, the Wichita County Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney's Office, the 78th District Court, and Wichita County Adult Probation, we couldn't find anyone who knew whose responsibility it was to keep track of Muehlberger's every move.

Finally, we spoke with an attorney involved in Muehlberger's cases.  You'll remember 78th District Court Judge Barney Fudge signed off on a bond reduction for Muehlberger on April 15th. That was just five days before the shooting. One of the restrictions that came with that bond reduction was that Muehlberger wear an ankle monitor for 90 days.

According to the attorney, on Monday April 19th -- just over 24 hours before the multiple shootings at Hastings and Toby's -- Muehlberger was fitted with the ankle monitor.  The device was set up by a company out of Dallas. 

We learned from speaking with Recovery Healthcare Corporation -- the company who owns the technology Muehlberger was wearing -- alerts are only sent out to officials if the person violates rules set by the court. One of the stipulations for Muehlberger's April 15th bond reduction was that he wear an ankle monitoring device for 90 days. An employee from Dallas-based Recovery Healthcare fitted Muehlberger with the device at his attorney's office on April 19th...just one day before the shooting rampage. From that point, Chief Operating Officer Vickers Cunningham says alerts would only be sent to authorities if Muehlberger went to places the court said he shouldn't.

In Muehlberger's case, he had to meet a curfew, he couldn't leave the county, and was banned from being within 400 yards of the home of another man with whom he had had a previous altercation. Because he never violated any of those rules, no alert was ever sent out...even when he spent an hour at a gun range.

That means nobody likely knew Muehlberger was at the shooting range -- which wasn't an off-limits area for him -- until after the fact. Cunningham says only a few agencies have the manpower to keep an eye on everyone all the time.

Cunningham also explained that when a rule is violated, the company can send out alerts to up to 99 different people -- law enforcement officers, attorneys, and even the offenders past victims -- to let them know the offender is somewhere he shouldn't be. In this case, the company could not tell us which law enforcement agency in our area would have been alerted if Muehlberger had violated a bond condition.

 

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