A CLOSER LOOK: if arrested you may repeatedly bond out; Skylar Houston did it twice

A Closer Look

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The man who was involved in a seven-hour standoff with Fayetteville police on Friday, July 23, was out on bail — for the second time.

On Monday, July 26, the state made a second motion to revoke Skylar Jeffery Houston’s $10,000 bond, according to court connect documents. Two days later, an “Order to Revoke Defendant’s Bond” was made and a re-arrest was issued for him to be sent to the Washington County Detention Center.

A bond hearing has been set for August 9.

Court documents show Houston, 29, was arrested April 1, 2021, by the Fourth Judicial Drug Task Force (DTF) for several drug and gun offenses. The following day, Houston was released from the Washington County Detention Center on a $10,000 bond. Stipulations of the bond included not violate laws, no firearm(s) possession, and not associate with felons.

On June 18, the state entered an Order, revoking the Defendant’s previously-posted $10,000 bond, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The court found that Houston violated his bail conditions by “being in possession of a firearm and associating with a felon in the vicinity of a shooting.” The state presented a video/photos as Exhibits A, B, and C of the allegations.

Still photo from June 18, 2021 video of Skylar Houston. Photo from court documents.

Houston was arrested on June 29th and taken to the Washington County Detention Center. He was released on July 1 and his bond was reinstated on seven conditions:

  • Remain on good behavior
  • Commit no new violation of the law
  • Communicate with his attorney
  • Attend all scheduled court proceedings
  • Not approach or communicate with convicted felons
  • Not possess dangerous weapons
  • Not engage in activities that involve firearms, indulge in intoxicating liquors, controlled substances for which he does not have a lawful prescripton

Houston used a different bond agency for the July release.

Washington County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Courtney Cassidy said that defendants in Arkansas are entitled to a bond being set in their case unless they are charged with a capital offense. 

“While Mr. Houston’s offenses are certainly serious, he was not charged with a capital offense.  On the original arrest on April 1, a Judge reviewed his charges and criminal history, and his bond was set at $10,000.  On April 2, Mr. Houston posted that bond through a bonding company,” Cassidy said via email.

On June 17, the Fayetteville Police Department responded to a shooting. Houston was not arrested or charged with any new criminal offenses in relation to that shooting.  However, during that investigation, officers obtained video footage that showed Houston associating with a known felon and carrying a firearm. 

“This was the first time our office received information that Houston had violated the conditions of his release on bond, and I promptly filed a motion to revoke that bond,” said Cassidy.

When Mr. Houston appeared for his court date on June 29, the warrant was still active, as he had not yet been arrested.  He was taken into custody that day and a hearing was scheduled for July 1. 

“Pursuant to the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure, a Defendant is entitled to have a hearing to determine whether they have violated the release conditions of their bond.  At that hearing, the Judge may impose different or additional conditions upon the defendant or revoke their release,” said Cassidy. “After hearing all of the evidence at the bond hearing on July 1, the Judge determined that it was appropriate to set his new bond at $10,000 and imposed very specific conditions on his release if he were to post that new bond.  And that afternoon, Mr. Houston posted that new bond through another bonding company and paying a second time.”

The classification of the alleged offenses is only one factor that a Judge may consider when determining what amount, if any, is appropriate to ensure the Defendant’s appearance at court. 

“There aren’t any specific guidelines that restrict how many times a person can bond out on the same charges,” said Cassidy. “Theoretically, an individual’s bond could be set, revoked, and reinstated repeatedly until the conclusion of a case.” 

How do bail bonds work in Arkansas?

  • A judge will set the defendant’s bail.
  • An Arkansas bail bond agent will post the bond once the 10% percent premium is paid.
  • State charges are also collected at this time.
  • The defendant must appear in court at all hearings or forfeit the bond.
  • All bail bond companies in Arkansas must also abide by the rules set forth by the state pursuant to Act 417.
  • If the defendant does not show up for court, or the bond company can’t find the person, the bond is forfeited. A judgment is issued by the court and the bond company has a certain amount of time to pay the court.

Houston is currently hospitalized after last Friday’s police standoff. It’s expected that upon release he’ll be booked into the Washington County Detention Center. The Huntsville resident faces new charges of theft by receiving (firearm), criminal conspiracy, unlawful use of a communication device, and carrying a weapon.

Skylar Houston was booked into the Washington County Detention Center on April 1. | Courtesy: Washington County Jail.

April 1, 2021 arrest:

  • Drugs and firearms
  • Trafficking controlled substance (methamphetamine)
  • Deliver meth cocaine > 10 grams < 200 grams (violation date Mar. 31, 2021)
  • Possession with purpose to deliver controlled substance (psilocybin mushrooms), schedule I & II >2 grams < 28 grams
  • Possession with purpose to deliver controlled substance (Xanax), schedule IV & V >200 grams <400 grams
  • Possession with purpose to deliver controlled substance (marijuana)/LSD), schedule VI > 4 ounces < 25 pounds (2 X)
  • Possession drug paraphernalia manufacture meth cocaine
  • Proximity enhanced penalty for 5-64-401 (B felony)
  • Theft by receiving — firearm <$2,500

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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