SAN ANTONIO – A man charged with capital murder following a series of attacks that left six people dead in Bexar County and Austin on Tuesday was bonded out of the Bexar County Jail by a Texas organization nearly two years ago.
Bexar County booking records obtained by KSAT show Shane James, 34, was bonded out in early 2022 by Laquita Garcia. Garcia is statewide policy coordinator for the Texas Organizing Project (TOP), an area group that advocates for bail reform.
The group has been criticized in the past for bailing out defendants who cannot otherwise afford bond.
Sources told KSAT that James had three pending cases in Bexar County for misdemeanor assault causing bodily injury-family.
A mugshot of Shane James from the Bexar County Jail from Jan. 6, 2022. (Bexar County Jail)
(Bexar County Jail)
Warrants for James’ re-arrest were issued in early March 2022, a law enforcement source told KSAT on the condition of anonymity. County officials have not said why James was not taken back into custody at any point over the past 21 months, despite the pending warrants.
James was arrested late Tuesday in Austin after the dayslong attacks. Police in Austin said he is the sole suspect for four deaths that occurred there.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is also investigating his connection with the deaths of a man and a woman at a home in northeast Bexar County.
During the attacks, which spanned several hours on Tuesday, an Austin police officer and an Austin ISD police officer were shot and sustained non-life-threatening injuries. A male cyclist was also shot in Austin, but survived.
The relationships between the suspect and victims have not been released, nor the motive. Read the latest on the case here.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar and the Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales are expected to give an update on the case at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
TOP officials, including Garcia, have not responded to multiple emails seeking comment Wednesday.
TOP in past years had bonded out as many as 25-30 Bexar County Jail inmates per month on bonds totaling $5,000 or less, the source said. That number had dwindled to around two a month, before increasing in recent weeks to around five defendants a week.
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