WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — An administrative-legal mixup resulting from two judges setting bond conditions on the same murder suspect means he will remain out of jail despite two alleged violations of his house arrest or curfew rules.
21-year-old Martez Vrana is one of four defendants facing trial for the murder of Jason Baum in June 2020
Baum’s body was found in an alley off Meadow Lake and Fairway. Police allege the four suspects went to rob him of marijuana.
Vrana is the only one of the two charged with capital murder to be out of jail on a $500,000 bond. He posted that bond last November.
Whether he is restricted to his mother’s home on Central Freeway at all times, or only under curfew hours, depends on which bond order is enforced.
In May, a family member of the victim reported seeing Vrana at a Cinco de Mayo festival downtown, but said the district attorney’s office told her there had been miscommunication and Vrana had been given different conditions than intended in the bond, so no action was taken.
At one bond hearing for his original murder charge, another judge had allowed him to be out of the house except from 8:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Then, another judge required total house arrest when he was indicted on the more serious charge of capital murder.
In July, the same family member spotted Vrana in the Texas Roadhouse, and this time she got a picture of him and called police. Police came and identified Vrana and reported his alleged infraction to the D.A. who filed to have his bond revoked.
But because of the confusion over the bond requirements, it was decided in a hearing Tuesday morning the bond requirements would be clarified and unified in a future hearing. That could include a request for total house arrest and to continue an ankle monitor requirement.
The new motion filed Tuesday afternoon points to the attendance of the defendant in public events and places and asks the court to modify the bond conditions to protect the community.
After his arrest in July 2020 for murder, Vrana was granted a bond reduction from $250,000 to $100,000 and was released. Then his charge was upgraded to capital murder with a $500,000 bond and new restrictions.
Police say Vrana told them he drove the other suspects to Baum’s house to buy marijuana and waited in the car.
But another suspect told police Vrana was helping remove a chest from the home when Baum showed up, shots were fired and Vrana and the others ran to the car and fled.
Vrana and one of the other murder suspects were also charged in an earlier marijuana buy gone bad shooting at a nightclub. Vrana’s charge was later dismissed but is still pending for the other suspect.