Judge Parish denies bond reduction request
by PHILLIP WILLIAMS
Jan 12, 2014 | 982 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
115th District Judge Lauren Parish on Tuesday denied capital murder suspect Jonathan Ray Shepherd’s request to reduce his $1 million bond to $250,000, and canceled an afternoon hearing that was scheduled on the motion.

Judge Parish sent notice Tuesday morning to all parties that she was denying the motion, filed by Arlington attorney Gerald J. Smith Sr., who argued the bond was excessive. The judge gave no reasons for her ruling, said Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd, who informed The Mirror of the decision and pronounced himself “happy” with it.

Byrd had recently said he would “adamantly” oppose the bond reduction request. He said Tuesday he presented no evidence before the ruling since he had planned to do so at the 1:30 p.m. hearing which was canceled.

On Thursday, he said he has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty. Under Texas law, capital murder is punishable only by lethal injection or life imprisonment without parole.

“We’re a long ways away from a trial date because of all the evidence that has to be analyzed,” Byrd had told The Mirror on Tuesday. He said he expected “several months” of the prosecution and defense engaging in “discovery” of each other’s evidence, and of laboratory analysis of evidence, so he could not speculate on a trial date.

On Thursday, Byrd added it would “hopefully not” take as long as two or three years to dispose of the case, “but it’ll be a while anyway.”

Shepherd, 32, of Gilmer, is charged with shooting 29-year-old Cheyenne Green of Gilmer in the parking lot of Gilmer High School the night of Sept. 26 during a junior high football game at nearby Buckeye Stadium.

Court records indicate the shooting occurred in the presence of their then-18-month-old son. Shepherd, who had reportedly been involved in a custody battle with Ms. Green, had reportedly been sitting with his estranged wife at the football game and had agreed to take the boy to Ms. Green at halftime.

The victim was shot three times, according to Gilmer police Investigator Roxanne Warren.

Shepherd, who turned himself in within hours after the incident, remains in Upshur County Jail. Originally charged with murder, he withdrew his first request to lower his bond at an Oct. 10 hearing after the charge against him was upgraded to capital murder.

Byrd has said the charge was changed because Shepherd is accused of killing Ms. Green while kidnapping or trying to kidnap her. Under Texas law, a person can be convicted of capital murder if he/she kills someone in the course of committing another felony. Kidnapping and attempted kidnapping are felonies.

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