Jonathan Vera

Judge Lowers Capital Murder Suspect’s Bond, He’s Now Accused of Killing Another After Jail Release: Reports

A Texas man who was given a lowered bond on a capital murder charge has been arrested again for causing another person’s death, police say.

According to Houston police, 20-year-old Jonathan Vera and two other suspects invaded a home in the Greenpoint area of Houston on October 19, 2019. They shot and killed Silvano Cortez during the process.

“Held the homeowner and his wife at gunpoint, ransacked the house, and ended up killing a 55-year-old homeowner and shooting another person while they were trying to flee the scene,” Andy Kahan with Houston Crime Stoppers told Fox 26.

In June 2018, Vera, 17 at the time, was arrested and charged with capital murder. A judge set his bond at $250,000. In March 2021, 351st Criminal District Court Judge Natalia Cornelio lowered Vera’s bond to $50,000, the outlet reports.

“The 351st District Court, I mean, lowered it to what I’ve never seen in my career,” Kahan added. “$50,000 for capital murder.”

After his release, Vera allegedly caused the death of Summer Chester. He was arrested again and charged with manslaughter. According to a GoFundMe page, Chester died during a car crash.

“The reduction of his bond from $250,000 to $50,000 led to the killing of Summer Chester,” Kahan said. “There’s no ifs, and, or buts about it.”

The president of the Houston Police Officers Union, Doug Griffith, told Fox 26 that Texas judges “do whatever they want” because no one has held them liable for their decisions.

“That judge should be held accountable,” Griffith said. “They do whatever they want because no one will hold them accountable.”

So far, the judge in question has not made comment regarding the case. Check back for updates.

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[Feature Photo via Houston PD]