Meet the Latest Soft on Crime Poster Boy
Travis Wayne Richards DOB 12-5-91
Soft on crime is nothing more than misguided thinking, believing that love and compassion will encourage criminals to behave and not murder people or steal what isn't bolted down. Compassion is aimed at the criminal rather than the victim of the criminals, mainly due to a disconnect between reality and the understandable feelings of discomfort seeing one of these criminals being justly punished.
What is needed is to put a face and criminal history out there to counter the feel good legislation and perhaps educate a few fools on why we have a criminal justice system, why we require that violent criminals or people that are flight risks post bail bonds, and why we can never do away with prisons and punishment.
This week let's look at a murderer set loose to kill by soft on crime judges and prosecutors here in Oklahoma County, meet Travis Wayne Richards. You can see his prison record here.
We believe that allowing a convicted felon, who has new cases to be released at tax-payer expense is careless and dangerous. Travis had been under the supervision of the Department of Corrections since January of 2014. If being under supervision by trained personnel from the Department of Corrections has been a failure to rehabilitate, how can untrained case workers from the pretrial release program expect to have an effect. Pretrial case workers have no authority to arrest or enforce Judges orders and since Travis was violated from the program and a warrant has been issued they merely closed the case and have moved on to the next failure of the Oklahoma County pretrial release program.
On October 14th 2010 Travis was charged with OK CO CF-2010-6396, the unauthorized use of a vehicle, resulted in the entry of a plea of guilty and a three year deferred sentence and probation with community service.
On October 1st 2013 a violation of probation was filed and Travis was released from jail on an own recognizance release on October 28th 2013 after stipulating that his probation was violated by failing to complete community service, pay costs and other conditions.
On November 5th 2013 Travis entered a plea of guilty for OK CO CF-2013-6206, the larceny of an automobile and his deferred was accelerated to a suspended sentence along with his new case CF-13-6203.
On July 21st 20014 another violation of probation was filed and a warrant was issued. Travis was released from the jail on commercial bail on August 6th 2014. Court record shows a failure to appear on September 29th of 2014 and a warrant was issued.
On August 3rd of 2014 Travis is charged with OK CO CF-2014-8507, a new case of larceny of an automobile and larceny from the house. Charges are not filed until December 15th 2014.
On September 3rd of 2014 Travis was in custody at Cleveland County jail on Cleveland County CF-2014-1567, a charge of concealing stolen property and unauthorized use of vehicle.
On September 23rd 2014 Travis failed to appear on OK CO CF-2014-4722, a charge of possession of a firearm originally released on commercial bail and failed to appear because Travis was in custody in Cleveland County on a case stemming from an arrest for concealing stolen property and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Travis was released on his own recognizance on November 18th 2014 at the request of his attorney and transported back to Oklahoma County for warrants in other cases.
On November 26th 2014 Travis Richards was released on GPS with the Oklahoma County Conditional Bond Program. A violation report was issue on December 11th 20104 and Travis once again failed to appear in court on December 15th 2014.
Then on Saturday, December 27, 2014 Travis Richards was inside a residence in the 3300 Block of SW 51st in Oklahoma City according to court documents. Witnesses say he exchanged words with Jason Beals and then shot him several times. Witnesses say Richards dropped the gun as he was running from the scene. Police recovered the weapon used to shoot Beals, who died at the scene.
Richards had been released by two different District Courts on his Own Recognizance (OR bond) with four open felon cases while on probation. He had been released from jail on November 26th 2014 on conditional bonds that require he remain at home on house arrest and wear an ankle monitor. Oklahoma County pretrial release filed a violation report on December 14th 2014. It is unclear when he cut the ankle monitor off.
Travis fled Oklahoma after the murder of Jason Beals, sparking a nationwide manhunt that took up tens of thousands of man hours of police work. He was arrested in Tennessee by the United States Marshal Service and returned to Oklahoma County at taxpayer expense.
Had Travis been required to post criminal bond he would have likely not been able to afford the bond or had his family posted the bond they would have been watching him to ensure he stayed out of trouble to prevent the loss of their home which is usually used as collateral for a high risk bond. Not only that but there would have been a bondsman watching his every move and ready to return Travis to jail should it appear that he was once again breaking the law. The bondsman would have been solely responsible for the return to Oklahoma and not the taxpayers.