On the April 2012 night that he was arrested on a felony drug charge, Danny Trevino had been a free man for only seven months and had a criminal record that included three prison sentences for evading police, evidence tampering and assault.
A judge set his bail at $2,500. Yet nine days later, unbeknownst to prosecutors or police, his lawyer approached another judge and convinced him that Trevino should be released on “personal bond.” Trevino walked out of the Travis County Jail after paying a $20 fee and signing a written promise to return to court.
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Investigative reporter Tony Plohetski has covered criminal justice and law enforcement for more than a decade. Recently, he has examined a lack of ethnic and racial diversity on grand juries, short staffing at the Austin police crime lab and the number of hit-and-run fatalities resulting in no prison time for the driver.