Texas Official Who Imposed $4B Bond Facing Fresh Scrutiny

A Central Texas court official who imposed a whopping $4 billion bond on a murder suspect is drawing fresh scrutiny after she declined to recuse herself and oversaw a court hearing involving her son.

Bell County Attorney Jim Nichols tells the Temple Daily Telegram that Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown may have violated state ethics rules by conducting Thursday's hearing.

Brown arraigned her 55-year-old son and set his bond at $2,000 on a charge of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.

She was unavailable for comment Friday.

She's facing a state complaint after imposing the $4 billion bond early this year in a separate case.

Brown said at the time the bond amount was a jab at a "broken" judicial system that too often sets bond so high that defendants are forced to remain in jail.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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