The largest bail in Fort Worth history award goes to Celeste Marie Beard.
Prosecutors for the State of Texas asked the judge to not set any bail. Beard countered with a plea that would allow her to get a bail bond for $50,000. Unfortunately for Mrs. Beard the judge considered her a flight risk and set the bail at 8 million dollars figuring she would never be able to get out.
What many people don’t know is that a Texas judge can set bail at an “reasonable” amount. That’s a problem for someone trying to get a bail bond because “reasonable” is open to interpretation, and once bail is set the burden is on the excused to prove its excessive.
Why Did a Woman Get the Largest Bail?
The reason Beard got the largest bail ever is because she was believed to have means to pay for her bail bond because she murdered her millionaire husband. Also, the judge believed the evidence against Mrs. Beard to be overwhelming.
Evidence Resulting in the Largest Bail Bond
On October 2nd, 1999 Celeste Beard’s millionaire husband, Steven Beard, was shot in his bedroom of their home, but he didn’t die that night. It was almost four months later before he died from his wounds.
Beard told police she didn’t know who might have shot her husband. Officer Rick Wines testified Beard initially refused permission for the police to search her home, but later changed her mind. She was also reluctant to permit officers to question Steven Beard in the hospital’s intensive care unit on the day after the shooting. Steven Beard, who was unable to speak due to tubes in his mouth and throat died without the police getting the chance to question him.
In 2003, Celeste Beard was found guilty of capital murder of her husband Steven Beard and received a mandatory life sentence, eligible for parole in 2043. Despite her conviction, she maintains her innocence and denies everything said against her. Her case will go down in the record books as having the largest bail set in Fort Worth ever.