Murder Suspect's Ankle Bracelet Removed Over Missed Payments
By Bill Galluccio
October 4, 2019
A Texas man accused of murder was allowed to roam freely for two weeks after his GPS ankle monitor was repossessed due to missed payments. In June, Clint Walker was released on a $100,000 surety bond and ordered to wear an ankle bracelet after he was charged with murder for allegedly killing a man during a failed robbery attempt in 2016.
In Harris County, suspects who are required to wear an ankle monitor can choose from four companies to provide the service. Walker chose Guarding Public Safety and had to pay a fee each month for the GPS device. After he missed two payments, the company came to his house and removed the device without getting permission from the court beforehand.
"The vendor that was monitoring Mr. Walker was upset with him being $305 behind in his fees," David Mitcham, assistant district attorney, said.
Authorities didn't realize his ankle monitor had been removed and he was able to walk around freely for two weeks. Once officials learned his bracelet was removed, he was taken into custody.
"We were very concerned," said Mitcham. "It does raise concerns with the District Attorney's Office in terms of whether or not this is a widespread problem, and we don't want any repetition of this."
Officials immediately terminated their contract with Guarding Public Safety. The company denied any wrongdoing and issued a statement claiming they did alert authorities before they repossessed Walker's ankle monitor.
"My company sent several violations on Clint Walker to the Harris County Pretrial Supervision Dept. including his failure to charge his device as instructed, resulting in no location and no communication. His device went dead several times, and we had no location and no communication with this defendant. Immediate notification was sent upon removal of his device."