HOUSTON – Every month, 30 to 40 convicted felons walk out free from jail on bond for possessing something they can’t legally have a gun. Many of them go on to hurt or kill someone.
“Marcus Oneil,” said hearing officer Courtney St. Julian during the Aug. 3 Probable Cause Court hearing.
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Finding himself facing criminal charges is routine for 29-year-old Marcus Deshawn Oneil.
“This is kind of what he does,” said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers. “And he’s been nonstop since 2013.”
Oneil is a registered sex offender convicted of sexual assault of a child.
“Mr. Oneil, you are charged with the felony offense of being a felon and in possession of a weapon,” the hearing officer said.
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Just last month, Oneil got off parole after serving time for a felon in possession of a weapon charge.
“He was actually sent to prison for three years,” Kahan said.
“Mr. Oneil is a true habitual offender,” St. Julian said during the probable cause hearing.
“It’s clearly obvious that the magistrate knows full well that he’s a menace a threat to society,” said Kahan.
The state asked St. Julian to deny Oneil bond. She ignored that request and set Oneil’s bond at $15,000. The next day, Oneil posts bond and walks out of jail.
“And 17 days later, he’s once again charged with felon in possession of a weapon, a gun, and aggravated assault,” Kahan said.
In the most recent case, court documents state Oneil pistol-whipped a man after he rear-ended that man’s truck on the freeway.
“My first thought on this is what happened with Terran Green getting in a shootout with four officers from different agencies,” said Kahan. “He too was out on bond for felon in possession of a weapon.”
According to statistics from Crime Stoppers, during 2022 and the first six months of this year, 2,530 defendants charged with felon in possession of a weapon were granted bond in Harris County.
About a fourth, or 569 of them, go for PR, personal recognizance, or get out of jail free card.
“Very few of them got out on more than a $50,000 bond,” Kahan said.
Marcus Oneil remains jailed with no bond set. That could change on Sept. 26 during his bond hearing.