Randy McIlwain, NBC 5 News
Questions abound about how a man accused in a drive-by shooting last week was free on bond for a probation violation at the time of the shooting.
A man suspected in a fatal drive-by shooting in Oak Cliff late last week has an extensive criminal record and was free on bond for a probation violation at the time of the shooting.
Dallas police arrested George Smith IV in connection with the drug-related shooting. Police said Smith and another person fired more than two-dozen bullets into a home on Teague Drive, killing two men.
Smith was arrested in 2010 on suspicion of felony theft. At the time, he was on probation for a felony drug case, and the arrest was also a violation of his probation.
He paid a bond on the theft charge, but Judge Jeanine Howard agreed to release Smith on a personal recognizance bond for the probation violation.
Court documents reveal that on July 13, 2011, Howard told Smith's attorney: "I would allow a PR bond on the probation violation if he shows tomorrow."
The next day, Howard signed off on a personal recognizance bond for Smith.
Smith could have faced an immediate sentence of anywhere from five years to life in prison for the probation violation.
Howard's office said she could not be reached for comment because she is out of town.
Smith's bond on the murder charge in the drive-by shooting is set at $150,000.
In the last six years, he has been arrested on drug, weapons and theft charges. He has also been arrested on suspicion of fleeing police and driving without a license.