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Ex parte Justin Michael Love
Case Number: 02-21-00017-CR
Judge: Brian Walker
Court: Court of Appeals
Second Appellate District of Texas
at Fort Worth
Plaintiff's Attorney: Bryce Perry
Fort Worth, Texas - Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant with engaging in organized criminal activity (drug dealing) with murder charges.
Love stands charged with running a drug ring and orchestrating a marijuana sale
to Dominic Thrasher that resulted in Thrasher’s June 2015 death. As we recounted in
our 2020 opinion, Love and two accomplices met Thrasher at a designated rendezvous,
Thrasher got into a car with Love and his accomplices, and then Thrasher grabbed a
bag of marijuana and took off. Love v. State, 600 S.W.3d 460, 466 (Tex. App.—Fort
Worth 2020, pet. ref’d). One of the accomplices shot at Thrasher, possibly at Love’s
urging, and killed Thrasher. Id. Love subsequently fled to Colorado. Id. 3
A jury convicted Love of engaging in organized criminal activity and assessed a
fifty-year sentence. Id. at 465. But in March 2020, we reversed the conviction because
the trial court committed structural error by disqualifying his chosen counsel over a
discovery violation. Id. at 484–85. We set his bail pending retrial at $500,000 because
of the seriousness of the underlying murder offense, the fact that a jury had already
found him guilty and assessed a fifty-year sentence, and his risk of a possible life
sentence upon retrial. Love v. State, No. 02-19-00052-CR, *6 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth
May 15, 2020, order). We asked the trial court to set the bond conditions. Id.
B. THE BOND CONDITIONS
After a hearing, the trial court denied the State’s request that Love submit to GPS
monitoring upon release, but it restricted his movements. Love was required to stay at
his grandmother Margie’s home between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.; outside of those
hours, he was only permitted to drive to meet with his attorney, attend court hearings,
report to the probation department, work at suitable employment, attend medical
appointments, or perform “essential household duties such as grocery shopping.” He
was expressly prohibited from any contact with witnesses other than Tamilyn. Love
did not contest or appeal the bond conditions, and he bonded out in mid-October 2020.
In early December, the State moved to declare the bond insufficient “and/or
alternatively” require GPS monitoring. It alleged that Love had violated the curfew
condition between November 30 and December 3. After a hearing, the trial court 4
amended the bond conditions to add GPS monitoring via an ankle bracelet. Love did
not appeal the modified bond conditions.
C. THE STATE’S MOTION TO REVOKE BAIL
In January 2021, the State moved for Love to be held without bond, alleging that
he violated the bond conditions by (1) going to the home of witness Tammy Schlosser,
Tamilyn’s mother; (2) leaving Margie’s home for purposes outside those permitted by
the order, including visits to his girlfriend Amber Reynolds’s home, Tamilyn’s home
and workplace, a local park, and a local restaurant; (3) failing to maintain suitable
employment; (4) violating the law by harassing Tamilyn by calling her phone and text
messaging her repeatedly; and (5) threatening to cut off his ankle monitor.
At the hearing, Love did not contest the State’s evidence of his movements,
including GPS records showing multiple visits to Reynolds’s and Tamilyn’s homes,
sometimes for hours at a time; two visits to Tamilyn’s work; a visit to a local park; and
a visit to a local Texas Roadhouse. Love argued that he visited Reynolds’s home often
because he stored tools there that he used for his employment as a handyman for his
bail bondsman. The bondsman, Maxie Green, admitted that they did not supply tools,
though he denied the work required large tools, and Reynolds was unsure of the tools
Love stored in her garage, naming “a couple of drills, the general things, . . . like
wrenches and saws” and possibly a Shop-Vac. She and Tamilyn also testified that he
spent time at their homes doing household repairs and tasks or repairs on Reynolds’s
car. Presumably, this occurred when the bondsman did not have enough tasks for him 5
and allowed him a day off, despite his submitted work schedule defining his work days
as 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
The State also presented evidence of Love’s harassment of Tamilyn and his visit
to Schlosser’s home. On January 4, 2021, Love went to the mall with Tamilyn and their
children, and then he went to his daughter’s birthday party at Texas Roadhouse.
Tamilyn described how Love became “very upset” at dinner and instigated a “verbal
altercation” with Tamilyn over her new boyfriend (even though he was dating
Reynolds). She testified that the altercation disrupted and distracted from the birthday
party to the point their daughter complained that Love was “ruining her birthday.”
His anger did not subside after dinner; he continued fighting with Tamilyn while
she drove him home, and after she dropped him off, he began repeatedly calling and
texting her. He used three different phones to call her “50[ or] 60 times,” but she
refused to answer and eventually blocked his numbers. Screenshots of text messages
sent from Love that night were admitted into evidence—they showed him calling
Tamilyn a stream of profanities and derogatory names in between professions of his
love for her, apologies, and self-deprecation. In one text, he wished, “I hope you get
cancer,” and in another, he threatened to “cut off this [ankle] monitor.” Later, because
she had blocked his phone numbers, Love started emailing her, obtained a California
phone number to continue calling her, and tried contacting her through their daughters’
phones. He also visited her at work more than once to talk to her about their
On Friday, January 8, 2021, three of Tamilyn and Love’s children spent the night
at Margie’s house with Love (their fourth child did not want to be around Love,
according to Tamilyn). The next morning, just before 9:00 a.m., Love drove two of his
daughters to Schlosser’s home to pick up their scooters on their way to a local park.
Schlosser, who is Tamilyn’s mother and is listed on the State’s witness list, was not
home at the time, but her boyfriend was. At the hearing, Schlosser expressed her fear
of retaliation by Love because she had provided information to law enforcement.
D. THE TRIAL COURT’S BOND REVOCATION
The trial court found that Love had violated the bond conditions by failing to
remain at Margie’s home as required, by failing to provide an accurate work schedule,
and by violating the harassment statute, thereby committing a new criminal offense. See
Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 42.07. It further found that the violated conditions related to
community safety. It revoked his bond and denied bail pending trial. Love applied for
a writ of habeas corpus incorporating the revocation proceedings. The trial court
denied the request for habeas relief, from which denial Love now appeals.
II. LOVE VIOLATED CONDITIONS RELATED TO PUBLIC SAFETY
Love’s two issues attack the trial court’s findings that he violated conditions
related to public safety. In his first issue, he designates the findings as erroneous
because there was no showing by the State that his bond-condition violations related to
community safety. Because this is a misconstruction of the applicable constitutional 7
provision, we overrule his first issue, thereby rendering his second issue moot, and we
affirm the trial court’s order.
We review a ruling on a pretrial writ of habeas corpus for an abuse of discretion,
viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the ruling. Ex parte Wheeler, 203 S.W.3d
317, 324 (Tex. Crim. App. 2006). If there are no disputed facts and the resolution of
the ultimate issue turns on an application of purely legal standards, our review is de
novo. Ex parte Martin, 6 S.W.3d 524, 526 (Tex. Crim. App. 1999). We will uphold the
trial court’s judgment if it is correct under any theory of law. Ex parte McIntyre,
558 S.W.3d 295, 299 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 2018, pet. ref’d).
The setting of bail is placed by statute within the sound discretion of the trial
court. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 17.15. It is the accused’s burden to show that
the trial court abused its discretion. Ex parte Rubac, 611 S.W.2d 848, 849 (Tex. Crim.
App. [Panel Op.] 1981). The Texas Constitution authorizes a trial court to deny bail
altogether pending trial if it determines “by a preponderance of the evidence . . . that
[the accused] violated a condition of release related to the safety of a victim of the
alleged offense or to the safety of the community.” Tex. Const. art. 1, § 11b.
Love’s argument focuses on his assertion that the State “failed to prove,” and
the trial court failed to find, that his bond-condition violations “endangered the
community or jeopardized the safety of any member of the community.” But this is a
misstatement of Section 11b, which we must interpret by the plain meaning of its words.
Johnson v. Tenth Judicial Dist. Court of Appeals at Waco, 280 S.W.3d 866, 872 (Tex. Crim. 8
App. 2008). Section 11b requires a showing that the violated condition relates to safety;
not that the violation itself endangered another at the time it was committed. Tex.
Const. art. 1, § 11b.
See also Ex parte Davis, Nos. 09-16-00397-CR, 09-16-00413-CR,
2017 WL 1433311, at *1, 5–6 (Tex. App.—Beaumont Apr. 19, 2017, no pet.) (mem.
op., not designated for publication) (upholding denial of bail upon revocation after
accused violated condition prohibiting his driving a vehicle where no evidence showed
his driving actually endangered or harmed anyone); Shires, 508 S.W.3d at 865 (upholding
denial of bail for accused sex offender after he violated conditions by consuming
alcohol and driving while intoxicated without evidence that he had endangered or
As relevant to this issue, Love was found to have violated the bond conditions
(1) requiring him to remain at Margie’s home “unless meeting with his attorney,
appearing for court, reporting to CSCD as required by [the December 2020 bondcondition order], submitting to a urinalysis, working at suitable employment,” or going
to “work, the doctor, the dentist . . . [, or performing] essential household duties such
as grocery shopping”; and (2) restricting his use of a motor vehicle to traveling in order
to perform those tasks. He violated those requirements by “[p]erforming chores” for
1As we have previously observed, when Section 11b amendments were
proposed, “the legislature recognized that when an accused has demonstrated a
reluctance to abide by reasonable conditions of bond, considerations of the safety . . .
of the community as a whole should be considered before releasing the defendant into
the community again.” Ex parte Shires, 508 S.W.3d 856, 865 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth
2016, no pet.). 9
Reynolds and Tamilyn, attending the birthday party at Texas Roadhouse, taking his
children to the park, going to Tamilyn’s work, and going to Schlosser’s home to pick
up the children’s scooters, all tasks that the trial court concluded were not “essential
household duties” or otherwise permitted by his bond conditions.
In addition to ensuring an accused’s presence at trial—the primary purpose of
bail—home confinement and electronic monitoring are recognized means of protecting
the safety of the community while an accused awaits trial. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. Ann.
arts. 17.40(a) (permitting imposition of “any reasonable condition of bond related to . . .
the safety of the community”), 17.44 (allowing home confinement and electronic
monitoring as a bond condition); see also Ex parte Allen-Pieroni, 524 S.W.3d 252, 255–56
(Tex. App.—Waco 2016, no pet.) (discussing trial court’s discretion in setting pre-trial
bond and determining GPS monitoring was inappropriate without evidence accused
was a flight risk and neither charged offense involved violence or threats of violence);
Ex parte Anunobi, 278 S.W.3d 425, 429 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2008, no pet.)
(upholding reimposition of home confinement to protect victims and community
against accused’s repeated thefts while awaiting trial). This is especially true in this case,
where Love is accused of—and has been once convicted of—participating in the
commission of murder, an indisputably violent crime. He also has a criminal history
including unlawful possession of a weapon and burglary of a habitation, and he
threatened to cut off his ankle monitor in the midst of harassing Tamilyn.10
Love did not appeal the trial court’s December 2020 modification of the bond
conditions to require electronic monitoring, nor did he complain of the October 2020
requirement of home confinement.
He does not now complain about the bond
conditions or dispute his violations of them. His argument is limited to whether his
violations endangered community safety, but this is not the standard. The standard is
whether the conditions he violated related to community safety, and the requirements
of home confinement and electronic monitoring undoubtedly relate to community
safety. Additionally, we agree with the State’s assertion that accepting Love’s
interpretation of Section 11b would lead to absurd—and frankly, dangerous—results,
requiring the trial court to wait for the accused’s actions to harm his initial victim or the
community at large before revoking the accused’s bond and ordering him held without
Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the trial court’s decision, we
cannot conclude that it abused its discretion by finding that Love violated bond
conditions relating to community safety. Having so held, we need not address his
second issue arguing that the trial court erred by finding that he committed a new
2On a related note, Love argued in his habeas application that the phrase
“essential household duties” was unconstitutionally vague. He did not bring this
argument at the time the condition was imposed, nor does he bring this argument
forward on appeal. He therefore forfeited any such argument. See, e.g., Smith v. State,
993 S.W.2d 408, 411 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 1999, pet. ref’d) (en banc op.
on reh’g). 11
offense by harassing Tamilyn. See Tex. R. App. P. 47.1. We therefore overrule both of
Outcome: Having overruled each of Love’s issues on appeal, we affirm the trial court’s
order denying his request for habeas relief.