NEW BOSTON, Texas -- A Bowie County district judge agreed Friday to reduce bail from $1 million to $400,000 in the case of a Texarkana teen accused of murder in the December shooting death of a fellow high school student.
Kamorion Meachem, 18, is charged in the Oct. 25 death of 17-year-old Ulises Martinez. Meachem pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder at a hearing before 5th District Judge Bill Miller earlier this month.
Meachem appeared with Sulphur Springs, Texas, lawyer Heath Hyde for a bond hearing Friday morning at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston. Hyde called Meachem's mother to answer questions about the family's living situation and willingness to help Meachem get to court appearances and obey the law. Hyde pointed out that a group of Meachem's immediate and extended family were present and that Meachem had no involvement with the criminal justice system prior to his arrest for murder.
Hyde said the probable cause affidavit in the case includes "elements of self-defense."
Miller said he considered the affidavit, Meachem's lack of criminal history and bond amounts set in other murder cases in Bowie County. Miller said that of those other cases he reviewed, most of the defendants had prior criminal convictions with some including convictions for violent offenses, unlike Meachem.
Miller agreed to lower Meachem's bond to $400,000. If Meachem's family is able to post bond, Meachem will be required to wear a GPS leg monitor and remain confined to his home except when meeting with his lawyer or attending court, for example.
Miller ordered Meachem to have no contact with Martinez's family and warned him to stay off social media.
"No Facebook, no snaps," Miller advised Meachem.
Meachem has been in jail since the shooting Oct. 25 in front of a residence on Sidney Drive in Texarkana, Texas.
Meachem was allegedly sent home from school Oct. 25 following a verbal confrontation between him, Martinez and some friends of Martinez, according to a probable cause affidavit. Meachem allegedly had a friend text his address on Sidney Drive to Martinez so the fighting could continue.
Martinez and a group of friends arrived at the house in a white GMC Yukon. Meachem allegedly reported to investigators that he "specifically saw a 1911 (type of pistol) with an extended 30-round magazine from the guy in the passenger side of the Yukon but did not get out of the truck with it," the affidavit states.
That allegedly prompted Meachem's brother to retrieve a firearm from his home.
Meachem allegedly became upset because his sister was hit in the face while trying to break up fighting among the youths and because his brother "was being stomped in the face by Ulises," the affidavit alleges. Meachem allegedly shot Martinez once in the chest after waving the gun in the air had no effect on those engaged in the brawl.
"He stated that he did not mean to kill anyone," the affidavit states.
Meachem's brother was initially charged with murder in the case as well but a Bowie County grand jury declined to indict him and he was released from custody.
If convicted of murder, Meachem faces five to 99 years or life in a Texas prison.