GPS Tracking Devices Not Closely Monitored - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

GPS Tracking Devices Not Closely Monitored

Ross Muehlberger was wearing a GPS tracking device when he visited a shooting range on April 20th 2010. That was just hours before the Shooting Rampage in the Falls. So, why did no one notice?

The point of GPS tracking devices isn't to monitor someone's movements 24/7. So, why use them? "You can go back and get the history of it," said attorney Bruce Harris. "And...if you need them, you know where they are." Harris said it would be impractical to monitor the movements of every person fitted with a device all the time, and, that's not really the point.

Muehlberger was out on bonds reduced by 789th District Court Judge Barney Fudge. Judge Fudge said the courts can only base bond decisions on what is presented.

Bond and release conditions are up to the presiding judge. Neither the state of Texas nor Wichita County have blanket guidelines that apply to everyone bonded out. They are set on a case by case basis. It is up to the prosecuting authority to recommend a person be held without bond, if it's felt that is necessary. That was never done in Muehlberger's case.

Bond is also, typically, available to anyone except in capital cases or when someone out on bond for a felony commits another. Bond guidelines prohibit setting it so high a person can not get out.

Police and other local law enforcement don't generally monitor the individuals. Harris said it is up to prosecutors to report violations to the court and file a motion to have bond revoked. Even if Muehlberger had visited gun ranges on multiple occasions, it is likely nothing would have been triggered by the device.

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