MINERAL WELLS, Texas — Lonneil White was arrested and charged with murder and given a $750,000 bond, but now authorities have released him from jail without him having to pay a cent.
White is 6-feet-6-inches and often goes by the name "Too Tall." According to an arrest warrant affidavit, he murdered a man in a shooting last month on Evergreen Drive. According to the documents, his wife told police that after an argument, "Lonneil fired two shots" at a man who had "grabbed a brick" to threaten him. That man, Richard Grajeda, was found deceased nearby with two gunshot wounds.
Authorities began searching for White, even releasing a wanted poster declaring that he could be armed and dangerous. White was arrested in Dallas County and returned to Palo Pinto County, but then he was released.
Neighbors on Evergreen Drive said they were surprised by the news.
"If he fled the first time to Dallas, what make you think he's not going to flee this time?" said Susie Wheeler, who lives right next to the area where the shooting happened.
WFAA reached out to Palo Pinto County District Attorney Kriste Burnett about the case. In a statement, she explained that the investigation is ongoing and the case is likely headed to the grand jury because of White's claim that he was acting in self defense.
Burnett said that she had recently learned that White also faces a serious medical condition, and if he needed treatment while in jail, it would be up to the county to foot the bill.
"It was recently brought to my attention that the doctor providing care to Mr. White wanted to go forward with surgery within a week," the statement said in part. "This treatment would result in costs to the county totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, which would be more than half of the county's budget for inmate health care for the entire year."
Burnett added that if White had remained in jail, there would also have been additional costs from guarding him while he was in the hospital.
"Weighing all these factors and keeping in mind a prosecutor's duty to see justice done, the decision was made to release Mr. White on a personal recognizance bond with bond conditions including weekly reporting to our local probation office," Burnett wrote.
Authorities said that White does not have an ankle monitor because it would have been cut off at the hospital before surgery. Even after surgery, he will remain released under the terms of the bond and cannot be jailed again on this charge unless he violates those terms and is rearrested.