CYPRESS, Texas — A victim’s family is frustrated an accused killer is back out of jail after their daughter with cerebral palsy was murdered in September 2020.
“It’s destroyed our family, she was the heart of our family, it’s just not the same anymore," said Krstalee Rhodd, her mother.
Her daughter Sierra Rhodd, 20, was murdered in 2020. She was lying in her bed when a bullet went through the window of her Cypress-area home during a drive-by shooting. Rhodd says her daughter had cerebral palsy.
“She wouldn’t have even been able to get away if she tried," Rhodd said.
Four men were arrested, all charged with murder. Investigators believe they were not targeting Rhodd, but her teenage brother.
They’re all still in jail, except for Xavier Fletcher who bonded out last week.
“I’m angry, I don’t understand what judges are thinking, I don’t understand why they allow such violent people back out on the street?” she said.
Court records show when Fletcher’s bail was originally set at $250,000 and the documents note other pending cases and that he’s a flight risk, because he ran to California, where he was arrested and then extradited back to Harris County.
After his bond was initially set, Fletcher wrote to the judge saying he couldn’t afford to post bond and it was lowered to $100,000. However, Fletcher stayed behind bars.
In October 2021, Fletcher was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for an incident that happened inside the jail. Last week, his bond was lowered again to $75,000.
“We have a lot of factors that go in to what bail is set," said Judge Chris Morton, who presides over Harris County's 230th District Court. It's the court hearing Fletcher's case.
Judge Morton agreed to talk to KHOU11 about the information he considers when setting bail, but not specifically about this case.
“The law specifically states a judge can not use bail as a means of oppression, that means we can not set bail specifically with the purpose of keeping somebody in custody," said Judge Morton.
He says judges look at the allegations in a case, past history of violating bonds and how likely a defendant is to return for trial.
However, getting a jury trial right now isn’t easy because of the pandemic slowing down the system.
“It’s not impacting the decisions we make as far as what bonds to set, but it has an impact on the length of time people stay out on bond," said Judge Morton.
He says judges do consider public safety and that’s where bond conditions come into play. In Fletcher’s case, according to court records, he’s required to be under electronic monitoring and 24-hour home arrest.
For this Sierra Rhodd's mother, it’s not the justice she imagined for her daughter.
“It’s overwhelming, even to think about them walking around when my daughter can’t and I’ll never see my daughter again and he is home with his family," she said.
Fletcher’s attorney declined an interview but told KHOU11 Fletcher has been in custody since October of 2020, has no violent criminal convictions and was 18 years old at the time of his arrest.
Fletcher's case is on the court docket next in April.