A murder suspect was effectively at large in Texas after his GPS ankle monitor was removed because he failed to pay a monitoring fee. Clint Walker, who is awaiting trial after being accused of fatally shooting a security guard during a November 2016 robbery, was ordered to pay a monthly fee to service provider Guarding Public Safety, reports KHOU. When he failed to do so, a company rep was dispatched "to physically remove his ankle monitor on Sept. 19," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Wednesday. As a result of this "troubling loophole," defendants "may have the ability to evade electronic supervision by simply failing to pay their GPS vendor," Ogg said.
There are nearly 200 other murder suspects out on bond in the county. But Teresa May, director of the Community Supervision & Corrections Department, says there's little risk of a repeat occurrence. Indeed, she says the department's contract with Guarding Public Safety was immediately terminated because the company did not have permission to remove the monitor. "In over 20 years of doing this, I've never seen a vendor do this kind of violation," she tells the Texas Tribune. Walker's bond was revoked Sept. 23 when he failed to report to supervision, but it was Wednesday before he was rearrested. May says there's no indication that he committed a crime while missing. (Read more Texas stories.)