WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A judge in Williamson County may lower the bond for a murder suspect, but the victim’s loved ones are pushing for reforms to keep suspected killers who confess in jail.
Judge Stacey Mathews inititally set Archie Rogers’ bond at $500,000 when deputies arrested him in February for the murder of Stormie Callison. On Thursday, his defense attorney asked the judge to lower that amount because — among other reasons — he said Rogers’ family cannot afford to bail him out.
In the midst of the ongoing court proceedings, however, Callison’s mother Moriah Brocar, created an online petition pushing for a law bearing her daughter’s name. It’s now gained more than 2,600 signatures.
“Stormie’s Law simply states this: if you’ve confessed to murder, to killing someone, you’ve forfeited your right to live free among us until trial,” Brocar explained. “I want to abolish that right, your right to bond out.”
She pointed out that court documents show Rogers confessed to the fatal shooting. According to the affidavit, detectives said Rogers “admitted he freaked out” and shot Callison twice before leaving his family’s house in Bartlett.
In court Thursday, it was revealed that Rogers’ wife came home and discovered Callison’s body in the bedroom.
Brocar responded to criticism that Stormie’s Law would deny bond to a suspect only charged, not convicted, for a crime.
“I’m not asking for someone who’s accused. I’m solely responding to asking if you’ve confessed,” Brocar told KXAN. “If you’ve confessed, then you forfeited your right to bond out.”
On Thursday supporters of Rogers’ held hands, formed a circle and prayed outside Judge Mathews’ courtroom, hoping that she’ll reduce his half-million dollar bond.
Attorney Robert Phillips, who now represents Rogers, said both he and his client’s family are aware of the plan that the victim’s loved ones are pursuing.
When KXAN asked what he thought of it, Phillips said, “Well, that proposal is not going to go anywhere because it runs right into the presumption of innocence.”
Judge Mathews did not make a decision Thursday about the bond reduction. She set another hearing for July 11.
In the meantime, Brocar said she’s contacting state lawmakers. She said she already got a response from Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen.
“The Speaker was just letting me know that, unfortunately, since he’s the Speaker, he doesn’t push legislation,” Brocar said. “It was a positive response. He gave me a lot of resources, which I’m very thankful for that.”
She’d also like to send a message to everyone who already signed her petition.
“Thank you, thank you,” Brocar said, smiling. “Just keep signing and sharing and asking your loved ones, friends, coworkers, anyone. Spread the word. Sign it. We need a serious overhaul.”