BREAKING: Alleged ETX murderer released from jail after authorities fail to indict him within 90 day period
POSTED: Friday, June 28, 2013 - 5:29pm
UPDATED: Sunday, December 22, 2013 - 3:39pm
Van Zandt County, Texas (KETK) —
After failing to be indicted within 90 days, Larry Maples, 44, of Ben Wheeler, was released from the Van Zandt County Jail on Thursday after allegedly murdering his wife and injuring her boyfriend in March 2013.
On Sunday at March 24, at 6:00 a.m., the Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office received a call from Mapels saying he had shot his wife and her boyfriend.
Deputies arrived at the 2600 block of FM 16 a short time later and arrested Maples at the front door of his home without incident.
Investigators say that Maples had arrived in the early hours of the morning, parked his vehicle a short distance from the scene and walked to the home on foot. Maples after seeing his wife's car parked at the rear of the home, entered the house through an unlocked door.
Inside the home, Maples shot Moses Clemente, 47, of Canton, after an altercation. Maples then shot and killed his wife, Heather Maples, 34, of Ben Wheeler.
Clemente was taken to a local hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound. He is currently listed in critical condition and expected to fully recover.
Heather Maples was pronounced dead at the scene.
KETK spoke with Ed Saturley, the step-father of Heather Maples, after the release of Larry Maples.
"I want this man locked up," said Saturley. "My step-daughter is dead and her son is without a mother because of this man. Do you think a murderer should be walking around town? No! He's free and Heather is in a hole in the ground."
The Van Zandt County Sheriff's Office released the following statment in regards to the release of Maples on Thursday:
We are a nation of laws. Laws dictate what we do and what we do not do. Our law dictates if a citizen is in custody for a felony offense in this state, the State of Texas has ninety days to indict that citizen. If the State of Texas is not ready for trial within 90 days, then that citizen is eligible for release upon his or her personal recognizance. Ninety days is not much time. This law applies whether the citizen is in custody for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle or for Capital Murder.
Many criminal investigations require more time to properly investigate than ninety days, especially capital murder cases. In fact, often the forensic examinations and subsequent reports required for such investigations are not completed within ninety days. That is true of this case. While it may have been possible that the Van Zandt County Grand Jury could have indicted Mr. Maples on his alleged confession, I believe we should produce as much evidence as possible to assist the Grand Jury in making their decision. Unfortunately, we are still awaiting the return of material evidence such as forensic examinations and expert reports.
Although I am not excited that Larry Michael Maples has been released upon bond, I believe it is more important that we thoroughly investigate this offense for purposes of a conviction, rather than attempting to rush an investigation for the purposes of a ninety day ticking clock.
This case will be forwarded to the Van Zandt Criminal District Attorney’s Office when it is properly and thoroughly investigated and when it is completed. I am fully convinced that Larry Michael Maples will be indicted by a Grand Jury and will ultimately be convicted for Capital Murder. Until that time, Mr. Maples will be confined to house arrest and may only leave home to visit his defense attorneys and his pre-trial release officer. A GPS device has been attached to his person and his location will be supervised at all times by the Van Zandt County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (Pre-trial Release Officer). He is also ordered to report to that Department weekly to assure compliance with the conditions of his pre-trial release. If he violates any condition of his bond, the District Attorney’s Office will seek to have his bond revoked and have him placed back into custody.