Houston rapper's killer was out on bond during deadly shooting

The Houston rapper died trying to shield 11-year-old stepson from gunfire. Now his ex says her son's father would be alive today if the criminal justice system did its job.

Video Transcript

MANUEL SOLOMON: Let's try it again. Come on. There you go. Got to get back on it.

STEVE CAMPION: The father teaching his son to ride a bike in this video is Manuel Solomon, known as Houston rapper Montana22.

CANDACE TAULBEE: It's just really hard. I always just tell him to talk to God and daddy hears.

STEVE CAMPION: Candace Taulbee says her boy, seven-year-old Calvin, lost his daddy and his 11-year-old best friend Dominic Sumicek to gun violence last October. Officers identified one of the gunman as 21-year-old Desmond Hawkins. He was out on bond for a capital murder charge at the time of the double shooting.

CANDACE TAULBEE: It's a murder charge that he was out here running free on. And I feel like somebody needs to be held responsible for my son, for my son's sisters having to grow up with no father.

ANDY KAHAN: We are in a Harris County bond pandemic, and people are paying the price for felony bond reform with their life.

STEVE CAMPION: Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers of Houston keeps a sobering list, the number of people reportedly killed by defendants out on bond since 2018. Montana22 and his stepson Dominic, two of the 103 names.

ANDY KAHAN: Nothing's happening locally. Nobody is doing anything about it.

STEVE CAMPION: Kahan says legislation, like Senate Bill 21, should become Texas law in order to end what he calls the bond pandemic.

ANDY KAHAN: We need to have data. This bill requires that each court complete-- have statistical data monthly on defendants released on bond.

MICHAEL FIELDS: We don't know if SB-21 would be helpful in doing that.

STEVE CAMPION: Michael Fields is a former Harris County Criminal Court judge. He worries state lawmakers might rush into a fix and end up doing more damage than good. Fields says SB-21 isn't a good idea.

MICHAEL FIELDS: There's several dangers to passing SB-21 as I see them. One, Black, Brown, and poor people are more likely to be disparately impacted in a negative wave.

STEVE CAMPION: Field says the way the proposed bill as written could have unintended consequences.

MICHAEL FIELDS: Even if you have a class C misdemeanor traffic ticket, according to the way this bill reads, you can be denied a personal bond if you pick up something like driving with a suspended license.

STEVE CAMPION: District Attorney Kim Ogg testified in Austin this week in favor of Senate Bill 21. Critics say if passed, it could end up costing the county hundreds of millions of by increasing the jail's population, by expanding pretrial monitoring, and potentially forcing the county to violate federal consent decrees. Reporting live in Southwest Houston, Steve Campion, 13 Eyewitness News.