HOUSTON – A Houston story made international headlines four years ago -- an 18-year-old is accused of killing his 16-year-old friend during a satanic ritual.
Edward O’Neal, the suspect in the case, admitted to KPRC 2 during a jailhouse interview in 2016 that he worshipped the devil.
Fast forward to the present, O’Neal is back in jail after being accused of killing again nearly ten days ago. His return to jail comes months after being released on a $25,000 bond in the 2016 homicide case.
“This is something that never, ever should have happened,” said KPRC 2 legal analyst Brian Wice.
“I’ve never seen a bond this low for first-degree murder in my career,” said Andy Kahan of Crime Stoppers.
O’Neal was originally committed to a mental institution for 120 days in connection with the 2016 case. He was found incompetent for trial. However, once competent again, his original bond was cut in half this past June.
On Aug. 11, O’Neal posted bond.
“The $64,000 question, no pun intended, is why he is out on a $25,000 bond?” Wice asked. “That’s the type of bond many dope dealers and felony thieves receive.”
Mario Garza the president of the Harris County Bail Bondsman Association also had concerns.
“When you’re dealing with competency issues, mental health, that should automatically say, ‘Hey! I need to think this one through,’ because they’re unstable,” Garza said.
Wice questioned those doing an evaluation from the bench.
“The buck stops with the men and women who wear the robes and wield the gavels, and this is that situation,” Wice said. “Where a judge simply, in my estimation, got it wrong.”
O’Neal is being held without bail in connection with the new case
He is due back in court on Tuesday.
About the 2020 case
O’Neal is accused of killing 39-year-old Derrick Mike about 11:10 p.m. Nov. 28 at an apartment complex on West Montgomery Road.
Houston police said officers responded to reports of a shooting at the complex and arrived to find Mike suffering from several gunshot wounds. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died the next day.