BELTON — A Killeen murder suspect whose bond was unconstitutional set at a record $4 billion had his sentencing hearing rescheduled for Nov. 25.
Around 25 people who showed up in a Bell County courtroom Thursday afternoon will have to wait more than a month to learn the result.
Antonio Marquis Willis’ name skyrocketed into national news after the Telegram reported in February 2017 former Bell County Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown set the unconstitutional bond for a 2016 murder charge.
Brown told the Telegram she used Willis’ charge as an opportunity to make a political statement. She said she wanted to prove a point to others who thought she set bail amounts too low.
A jury in February 2019 decided Brown should be removed from her elected position. The jurors unanimously decided 16 of 17 issues were true and that Brown engaged in official misconduct, was grossly incompetent or grossly negligent and had physical or mental defects she didn’t have when she was elected in November 2016.
Willis’ bond was lowered to $150,000 when the district attorney’s office filed a motion to reduce it. He was released from jail after he posted bail.
The sentencing — set in the 27th Judicial District Court — was rescheduled after one of the defense attorneys could not attend the hearing on Thursday.
Willis, 28, was back in the Bell County Jail Thursday after admitting he shot and killed Donte Javon Samuels, 22, on Dec. 22, 2016.
Samuels was found dead in a front yard at 4103 Water St. in Killeen. Samuels reportedly showed up at the home three times, and Willis reportedly shot him the third time after opening the door and telling Samuels to leave.
Nine members of the victim’s family and friends were present on Thursday, with at least one person set to testify.
Willis’ bonds total $657,500 on seven charges, including $500,000 on the murder charge.
FME News Service contributed to this report.