Texas man accused of murdering infant asks to be out of jail due to COVID-19

Crime

LUBBOCK, Texas (KLBK) — A man accused of murdering a young girl by stuffing her into a backpack petitioned Monday to be let out of jail due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Trevor Rowe, 27, was arrested January 8 and charged with the capital murder of 11-month-old Marion Jester-Montoya. His bond was set at $2 million.

Marion Jester-Montoya, photo provided by family

According to the petition, Rowe believes he has been, “unlawfully restrained of his liberty by the Sheriff of Lubbock County, Texas.”

Rowe was charged but not indicted on the murder charge, according to the petition, and has been held without an indictment for more than 90 days. The petition argues this is against a section of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

According to the code, if an indictment is not filed, the person arrested must be allowed to be released on personal bond.

On March 29, Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order that suspended five sections of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, including the one Rowe cited as a reason to be released on personal bond.

Rowe’s petition also talked about COVID-19 as a reason to release him.

According to the petition, “The government’s interest in continued incarceration cannot be justified where incarceration itself exacerbates an ongoing and devastating public health crisis and brings a heightened risk of illness and death to people inside and outside the jail.”

There have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in the Lubbock County Detention Center, where Rowe is currently incarcerated.

According to the petition, “There is nothing that can justify exposing a presumed innocent person to a deadly virus.”

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