An attorney who said he is concerned about his client’s mental well-being was unsuccessful Friday in convincing a judge to lower bail for a Waco man charged in the May shooting deaths of two cousins.
Judge Ralph Strother of Waco’s 19th State District declined to reduce Todrick Deon McDonald’s bonds totaling $2.3 million during a brief pretrial conference.
McDonald, 27, is charged with capital murder in the deaths of Justin Javier Gonzalez, 24, and Ulysses Gonzalez, 30, at the Pecan Tree Apartments, 2600 Grim Ave.
McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna told Strother he will announce at the next status conference March 20 whether his office will seek the death penalty against McDonald.
John Donahue, who represents McDonald with Austin attorney Jon Evans, told Strother that McDonald was moved from the McLennan County Jail into a segregation cell at the private Jack Harwell Detention Center and he has concerns that the isolation will affect his mental health.
Strother denied the request to reduce bail, noting that McDonald also is indicted in separate cases for assault family violence, two counts of evading arrest in a vehicle, two counts of aggravated robbery and aggravated assault.
He also has pending unindicted cases after arrests for unlawfully carrying a firearm by a felon, endangering a child and theft, according to court records.
The judge has not set a trial date in the capital murder case but said Friday it won’t be held until at least fall 2015.
The victims’ bodies were found lying on the living room floor the apartment. Each suffered multiple gunshot wounds, Waco police said.
The two men did not live at the complex and were there visiting a friend, according to police reports.
Donahue and Evans declined comment Friday, saying the judge placed parties in the case under a gag order.
McDonald was arrested three days after the killings and after a short police chase. Police said McDonald was working on a car outside his residence when officers from several agencies came to arrest him.
He fled eastbound on Bosque Boulevard in his vehicle with a woman and a toddler inside.
McDonald rammed a U.S. Marshals Service vehicle at North 26th Street and Bosque Boulevard, and McDonald’s car was forced onto the curb, officers said.
He tried to run, but his door was stuck on the curb and he could not exit the vehicle, according to reports.