Official: $4B bond meant as jab at trend of exorbitant bonds

Official: $4B bond meant as jab at trend of exorbitant bonds

BELTON, Texas (AP) - A Texas court official says she decided to impose a whopping $4 billion bond on a murder suspect to highlight that bonds are generally set so high that defendants are forced to remain in jail until their cases go to trial.

Bell County Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown said Friday that setting exorbitant bonds that force too many people to remain in jail is "ridiculous."

Brown acknowledged that the bond for 25-year-old Antonio Marquis Willis can be challenged as a constitutional violation. A state district judge may lower the amount, which Brown supports.

She noted that Willis turned himself in and says she wanted to impose a $100,000 bond, but was challenged by officials involved in the case.

An irritated Brown then changed the amount to $4 billion.

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