Bond hearing held for murder defendant

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A hearing was held before a Bowie County district judge to address a murder defendant’s desire for a lower bond.

Tyvon Montrel Gullatt, 23, is currently being held in the Bowie County jail with bond set at $1 million. Gullatt is accused of killing Carlos Clark, 25, by shooting him in the parking lot of Chevron gas station Feb. 10 in Texarkana, Texas.

At a hearing Monday afternoon before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston, Gullatt’s attorney, Jasmine Crockett, asked for a $100,000 bond which Gullatt’s grandfather, Richard Sanders, testified he might be able to afford posting through a commercial bonding company. Commercial bondsmen usually require ten percent of the bail amount.

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Richards testified that Gullatt has lived in Texarkana all of his life and can continue living with him and his wife of 40 years if he is released. Sanders said he will help Gullatt pay any fees necessary if the court orders a GPS leg monitor.

Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp called Bowie County District Attorney’s Office Investigator Aaron Ragland to testify. Ragland said Gullatt has prior convictions for misdemeanor theft and misdemeanor drug possession. Ragland said Gullatt was arrested in 2014 for aggravated robbery but not convicted.

Ragland said two alleged victims accused Gullatt of robbing them at knifepoint. Ragland said the alleged victims reported that they were paid by members of Gullatt’s family to drop the charges.

Crockett questioned Ragland about whether anyone in Gullatt’s family was charged with witness tampering. Ragland said he was not aware of any such charges.

Crisp asked Lockhart to leave Gullatt’s bond at $1 million and pointed out that a number of Clark’s family members were at Monday’s hearing. Crockett referred to Gullatt’s need for medical treatment and his strong ties to the community when asking for a bond reduction.

Lockhart said he will take the case under advisement and issue a decision this week. Gullatt has pleaded not guilty to murder in Clark’s death.

At the hearing Monday, Crisp described the case as a “drug deal gone bad, that’s what it is,” and said Gullatt has confessed.

“This is not a who done it,” Crisp said.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Clark and another man were sitting in a car parked at the Chevron on State Line Avenue when Gullatt approached and got into the back seat. A short time later, all three men exited the vehicle and ran in different directions as the sound of a gunshot was heard.

The man in the car with Clark told investigators that Gullatt tried to rob them and had displayed a gun. The man said he was running to the back of the gas station when he heard and shot and after circling around, found Gullatt on the ground near the car.

A 16-year-old told investigators he rode with Gullatt to the gas station with plans to buy marijuana from Clark and/or the man with Clark. The juvenile said Gullatt and the other two men jumped out of the car after a brief interaction and that he drove Gullatt from the scene. The juvenile said he saw Gullatt give a handgun to his grandfather.

The man who was with Clark at the time of the shooting denied knowing anything about money and marijuana found in the parking lot. Gullatt allegedly told investigators he thought Clark and his friend were going to rob him so he pulled a gun.

If convicted of murder, Gullatt faces five to 99 years or life in prison.

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